Apple is close to signing a contract with the Hyundai-Kia group of companies to produce an autonomous electric vehicle. This was reported by CNBC, citing sources and market experts.
According to insiders, Apple sees the new car as an autonomous device without a driver. Experts believe that, first of all, the American company will focus on the production of electric cars, which will transport people and deliver food from stores. The move could pit Apple and Tesla against each other in the self-driving car market. The company may then introduce an electric vehicle to the consumer market.
According to disclosed data, Apple is close to signing a cooperation agreement with the Hyundai-Kia group of companies. The iPhone maker has already invested about $ 3.6 billion in the joint project. According to sources, both corporations are interested in the partnership: the American one wants to enter the automotive market, the Korean one wants to gain a foothold in the US market. However, Tim Cook's company may find another partner or enter into an agreement with several automakers. Apple and Hyundai-Kia declined to comment when contacted by CNBC.
Insiders said that the views of top managers of American and Korean companies on the development of the auto industry converge. Hyundai-Kia vice chairman Euisun Chung, appointed in October, said that “mobility is the company's future.”
For Apple, the decision to build its own electric car opens up the potential for a $ 10 trillion global car market. According to experts, the American company occupies a third of the smartphone market, which is estimated at $ 500 billion. “Thus, Apple will need to occupy only two percent of the automotive market for this segment to generate as much money as the iPhone business,” concluded Morgan Stanley analyst Katie Huberty.
Earlier it became known that Apple plans to release its own car by 2025. According to information from insiders, the main feature of the electric car will be “breakthrough” battery technology, which will significantly increase the vehicle's range.