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Apple Car Talks with Hyundai and Kia Paused, Project Titan Electric Vehicle Now on Hold

Hyundai logo. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

Hyundai logo. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

Rumours about Apple working on a self-driving electric car called Project Titan have been making news since 2014 but the rumour mill ramped up recently followed with the purported drama between Hyundai that controls a stake in Kia.

Apple fans waiting for its rumoured electric car have some good and bad news coming their way. The good news is that Apple.Inc has been talking to Hyundai and Kia for collaboration on an electric vehicle but the bad part is that the talks have now been stalled.

Rumours about Apple working on a self-driving electric car called Project Titan have been making news since 2014 but the rumour mill ramped up recently followed with the purported drama between Hyundai that controls a stake in Kia.

The secret project had ramped up in recent months that has the potential of upending the automotive industry and its supply chain market. So far Apple has declined to comment on this. Meanwhile, Hyundai backed away from a recent statement regarding Apple.

According to a Bloomberg reports, Hyundai’s execs leaked the beans on the proposal to local media after Apple approached them to work together on an electric car and rechargeable batteries, but this was sacrilegious for Apple that likes to be notoriously tight-lipped on such issues.

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Shortly, Hyundai claimed it was just reviewing Apple’s proposal followed with which the company then furiously backpedalled and issued a new statement saying that several global automakers, including Hyundai, were in early talks with Apple for partnership. Post this, Hyundai had second-thoughts and backtracked further just to be safe, rubbing all mentions of Apple in an updated statement.

The announcement had upset Apple who usually keeps development projects secret and controls relationships with suppliers with ruthless efficiency.

It’s unclear when the discussions between Apple and Hyundai might resume, as there are only a handful of global automakers with the capacity and capability to mass manufacture vehicles. It’s unclear how many other automakers would be interested in collaborating with Apple.

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If the Apple electric car news happens to be true, the company would be taking on the likes of Telsa Inc., General Motors Co., and other electric vehicle makers in the segment. The question remains if Apple would be looking for an established manufacturer to be able to roll out its own product for them.

Apple already has a small team of engineers that have been developing drive systems, as well as designers, but with the developments at an early stage, the rollout wouldn't be happening for another five years. This means Apple will have more time to decide on a potential auto-industry partner.