Highly anticipated: Hyundai has been in talks with Apple about a possible partnership for developing an autonomous electric car. However, while a deal previously seemed to be on the horizon, a new report claims that Hyundai executives are “divided” over the prospect of joining forces with Apple for its long-anticipated Project Titan.
Earlier this month, Hyundai confirmed that it was in talks with Apple concerning the future production of an autonomous electric car. The news—which claimed that a deal could be inked as early as March—sent Hyundai stock skyward.
A new report from Reuters claims that a deal between the two companies is far from confirmed. Instead, executives at the South Korean car maker are said to be concerned about Hyundai manufacturing for another brand. “We are agonizing over how to do it, whether it is good to do it or not,” one Hyundai executive told the publication. “We are not a company which manufactures cars for others. It is not like working with Apple would always produce great results.”
To avoid a culture clash between the two, the report adds that Hyundai could end up replacing some executives. Despite Hyundai’s reservations, the company is also said to have excess capacity, meaning that contract manufacturing could be a sensible option.
Apple’s electric vehicle plans are no secret. The company has been developing autonomous driving software while making a series of key acquisitions for years now. It is believed that hundreds of Apple employees are actively working on a self-driving car. Moving its anticipated Project Titan to production may well be the next stage in Apple’s electric transportation ambitions.
Whether Hyundai agrees to be Apple's manufacturing partner, however, remains to be seen.