As reports of an Apple and Hyundai deal for the production and manufacturing of the Apple Car are gathering steam, there is a report from South Korean publication Dong-A which states that a deal is primed to be done between Hyundai subsidiary Kia and Apple which could involve an investment of $3.6 Billion a year by the Cupertino-based company for 100,000 cars a year. This deal involves Apple gaining access to Kia's facilities in Georgia which is in the US. They are eyeing a production run to start by 2024 for an initial capacity of 100,000 vehicles a year though the plant can ramp up production to 400,000 vehicles a year. Famed Apple analyst, Ming-Chi-Kuo has already stated that likely Apple will co-design the vehicle with Kia's parent company Hyundai. Interestingly, the car will be built on the Hyundai E-GMP electric car platform. Apple has been shopping for an EV platform as its interest in Canoo was perpetrated by the same desire.
Apple will be designing the self-driving system, hardware, software, semiconductors, battery technology, form factor and the overall user experience. This would be similar to the relationship Apple has with contract manufacturers like Foxconn for the iPhone. Even for the iPhone Apple works with rival companies like Qualcomm and Samsung for modem and display technologies for customised solutions for its product. This will be a similar arrangement.
The Hyundai Mobis arm in the US is taking the lead on this partnership Kuo explains in an analyst note. It unveiled the E-GMP platform which can support up to 2 Motors, a 5-link suspension, integrated drive axle, battery cells and a charging system apart from other components. E-GMP as per Hyundai offers around 500 kilometres of range, but Apple's proprietary battery technology and semiconductors could turn those figures on the head massively.
Kuo also states that like the iPhone and its other gadgets where Apple works with numerous suppliers and contract manufacturers, it could also open up talks with Stellantis and GM for manufacturing in addition to Hyundai's subsidiary Kia. Stellantis and GM could be regional partners if the project is proven successful. It is expected that the Apple Car will land in 2025.