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Hyundai said to be 'agonizing' over Apple's electric car

It might not want to give up even a little independence.

Roberto Baldwin/Engadget

Hyundai might not be in a rush to make Apple’s electric car despite reports of a tentative deal. Reuters sources claim Hyundai executives are “agonizing” over how the company will cooperate with Apple, or whether or not it’s a wise idea in the first place.The Korean automaker is reportedly hesitant to work with outside firms, and might even replace higher-ups to prevent a conflict between the two fiercely independent companies.

The company might have Kia team up with Apple to avoid associating the core Hyundai brand (and the upscale Genesis badge) with contract manufacturing. It would be “just like Foxconn,” one executive told Reuters. Apple is rumored to want Hyundai primarily for final assembly in the US. The chassis, drivetrain and other components would come from other companies, the sources said.

Apple declined to comment. Hyundai didn’t mention talks with Apple when discussing its latest earnings.

There could be incentives for Hyundai to cooperate. It might get access to some of Apple’s self-driving hardware and software. More importantly, Hyundai could use the business. It currently has unused manufacturing capacity, and an Apple car could make better use of those production lines. It may just be a question of whether or not Hyundai is willing to swallow its pride to strike a deal that might help its bottom line.