Reports on the potential cooperation of Hyundai Motor and Apple caused the share price of Hyundai to surge almost 20 percent on January 8, the automaker’s highest daily gain. Hyundai neither confirmed nor denied the news reports, while Apple did not come up with any comments. Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor and Apple

Korean automaker may benefit from collaboration with Apple

The share price of Hyundai Motor surged more than 19 percent on January 8, the highest daily gain of the South Korean automaker in its 53-year history.

Hyundai’s sister companies, including Kia Motors, Hyundai Mobis, and Hyundai Wia, also saw their stock prices rocket. And behind the unusual rise was U.S. tech giant Apple.

There were news reports of Korean news outlets that Apple had proposed a business alliance with Hyundai Motor to develop autonomous electric vehicles.

Some even claimed that the two-way cooperation would be concluded as soon as Hyundai Chairman Chung Eui-sun gives a green light.

Apple has worked on an electric car project, codenamed Titan, over the past several years, and a host of employees are believed to work for the scheme.

Hyundai neither confirmed nor denied the news reports.

“We have received requests of potential collaboration from a variety of companies about the development of self-driving electric cars,” the company said in a regulatory filing.

“But we have yet to make any decisions because discussions are in the early stage.”

Many observers appear to think that the partnership between Apple and Hyundai, the world’s fifth-largest automaker, would create a great synergy effect.

“Through cooperation with Hyundai, Apple will be able to secure high-quality batteries at reasonable prices from such companies as LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation,” said Ko Tae-bong from Hi Investment & Securities.

LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation are the world’s top-tier producers of rechargeable batteries used for electric vehicles. Hyundai has worked with them for a long time.

By contrast, some watchers warn against overly optimistic expectation because the possibility of their business alliance is still in the dark.

Apple did not come up with specific comments for the news reports.

The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at voc200@gmail.com or 82-2-6956-6698.