UPDATE, 10 February 2021: Hyundai has confirmed talks with Apple have stalled, after widespread reports the two companies were discussing a partnership to manufacture a future car.
According to business new outlet Bloomberg, sources familiar with the matter understand Apple "paused discussions with Hyundai and Kia weeks ago" – roughly the same time as the latest rumours of the potential partnership began to be reported on by the media.
It's believed Apple has engaged in similar talks with other large car companies that have the capability to mass-produce battery-powered cars for the American tech giant.
Despite a sell-off of Hyundai stock on the latest news, the Korean car company's share price remains around 20 per cent above its early-January level.
UPDATE, 2 February 2021: Top executives at Hyundai have expressed concerns about a possible relationship with Apple.
Hyundai had confirmed it was in talks with Apple to produce the tech company's proposed electric car, but news outlet Reuters is reporting a number of doubts have been raised by the car maker's management.
"We are agonizing over how to do it, whether it is good to do it or not," a Hyundai executive said during an earnings call with investors last week.
"We are not a company which manufactures cars for others. It is not like working with Apple would always produce great results."
Hyundai is known to be self-reliant and reluctant to work with outsiders – even to the point of producing its own steel to ensure the entire process of manufacturing a car is carefully controlled. It's a process that has made the Hyundai Motor Group the world's third largest car maker, behind Toyota and Volkswagen Group.
"The [Hyundai Motor] Group is concerned that the Hyundai brand would become just Apple’s contract manufacturer, which would not help Hyundai in its effort to build a more premium image with its Genesis brand," a source told Reuters.
"A cooperation may initially help raise the brand image of Hyundai or Kia. But in the mid- or longer-term, we will just provide shells for the cars, and Apple would do the brains."
It's believed if a deal can be reached between the two corporations, it's likely Kia would be responsible for manufacturing the Apple car at its plant in the US state of Georgia.
11 January 2021: The much-rumoured Apple car may end up being manufactured by Hyundai.
According to news outlet Reuters, local newspaper Korean IT News reported on Sunday plans to sign an agreement by March 2021 between the two corporations.
It's expected Hyundai will manufacture the Apple car in the US on behalf of the tech giant, with production to commence in 2024.
Apple's production vehicle will likely be all-electric, and will feature some level of semi-autonomous technology to rival Tesla.
An earlier version of the report stated the Apple car – nicknamed 'Project Titan' – would be manufactured either at Kia's plant in the US state of Georgia, or potentially at a brand-new, co-owned facility yet to be built. Kia is part of the Hyundai Motor Group.
Initial production output was indicated to be 100,000 vehicles in 2024, eventually reaching 400,000 per year.
Hyundai shares soared by 20 per cent late last week following confirmation the two organisations were in talks.
Business outlet CNBC obtained a statement from Hyundai, which read: "We understand that Apple is in discussion with a variety of global automakers, including Hyundai Motor. As the discussion is at its early stage, nothing has been decided."
A number of rumours surrounding the Apple car have emerged in recent weeks, with Bloomberg reporting a handful of former Tesla executives have joined the project.
Company veteran Doug Field returned to the company in 2018 to head Project Titan for Apple, after a stint working at Tesla.