After years of speculation that it will eventually get into the auto business with its own vehicle, Apple is close to finalizing a deal with HyundaiKia to manufacture an Applebranded autonomous electric vehicle at the Kia assembly plant in West Point, Georgia according to multiple sources who briefed CNBC on the plan. The socalled Apple Car, which is being developed by a team at Apple, is tentatively scheduled to go into production in 2024, though people familiar with the talks between Apple and HyundaiKia say the eventual rollout could be pushed back.
Sources tell CNBC no agreement has yet been reached between the two companies. In addition, they stress that Apple may ultimately decide to partner with another automaker separately or in addition to working with Hyundai. One source familiar with Apples strategy on developing a car tells CNBC, I doubt Hyundai is the only automaker they could strike a deal with, there could be somebody else.
Apple shares rose more than 2 after hours on the news. Spokespersons for both Apple and HyundaiKia declined to comment when reached by CNBC.
Sources familiar with Apples interest in working with Hyundai say the tech giant wants to build the Apple Car in North America with an established automaker willing to allow Apple to control the software and hardware that will go into the vehicle. In other words, this will be an Apple Car, not a Kia model featuring Apple software.
For HyundaiKia, working with Apple is being driven by the…