The Apple car is dead again. Hyundai Motor Group says that it and the tech giant are no longer in negotiations to create a partnership on an automotive project, according to Automotive News. In January, Hyundai confirmed that the two companies were in the early stages of discussing the collaboration.
"We are not having talks with Apple on developing autonomous vehicles," Hyundai said in a statement to investors, according to Automotive News.
Gallery: Motor1 Apple Car Renderings
It's not clear which side suspended the negotiations. On Hyundai's side, there was allegedly concern among some execs that the automaker would just be a contract manufacturer for Apple like the tech company does for Foxconn making the iPhone.
According to the rumour at the time, Kia was going to build the Apple car at a new factory in Georgia. There was speculation the companies might have even had a concept version of the vehicle ready in 2022. Sales could have started as soon as 2024.
While the news about the negotiations only came out in the last few weeks, these talks had apparently been happening since 2018, according to Automotive News citing a Reuters report.
As of early 2021, Apple reportedly still has a small, internal team working on its car. The crew allegedly includes some former Tesla engineers. A complete vehicle could be ready between 2024 and 2028 if the project comes to fruition.
Before Hyundai, Volkswagen Group was allegedly going to be Apple's partner on the automotive project. They were going to start by creating an electric, autonomous version of the VW Transporter van for use on the tech company's campus. While this was heavily rumoured, the collaboration was never officially announced.