SEOUL (Reuters) – Hyundai Motor and Apple Inc plan to sign a partnership agreement on self-driving electric cars by March and start production as early as 2024 in the United States, local Korea IT News reported on Sunday.
The report follows a statement on Friday from Hyundai Motor that it was in talks with Apple after another local media outlet said the companies aimed to launch an autonomous electric car in 2027, pushing Hyundai shares up by nearly 20%.
Citing industry sources, the latest report says the couple plan to build the cars at Kia Motors’ plant in Georgia, or jointly invest in a new plant in the United States, with a production plan of 100,000 vehicles in 2024 in the proposed plant with an annual capacity of 400,000 vehicles. Kia Motors is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motors.
The report says Hyundai and Apple plan to release a “beta” of Apple cars next year.
Hyundai Motor and Apple did not comment immediately.
Reuters announced last month that Apple is moving ahead with self-driving car technology and aims to produce a passenger vehicle that could include its own breakthrough battery technology as early as 2024.