Kia Motors shares jump after Apple report to invest $ 3.6 billion



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Kia Motors Corp. jumped 14.5% after a local media report that said Apple Inc. will invest 4 trillion won ($ 3.6 billion) as part of a collaboration with the South Korean automaker on the manufacture of electric vehicles.

The iPhone maker plans to go into production with Kia and build Apple cars at the automaker’s premises in Georgia, United States, DongA Ilbo reported, without naming anyone. The companies could sign a deal on Feb. 17 and aim to introduce Apple cars in 2024, according to the newspaper, which said it had an initial goal of producing 100,000 cars a year.

A representative for the automaker in Seoul and an Apple representative in California declined to comment.

Hyundai and Kia shares surged on reports of Apple car tie-up

Reports from Apple considering expanding into vehicles have led to speculation about potential manufacturing partners. The tech giant’s automotive development work is still in its early stages, and the company will take at least half a decade to launch an autonomous electric vehicle, people familiar with the efforts told Bloomberg News. This suggests that the company is in no rush to make partnership decisions.

Last month, Hyundai Motor Co., a subsidiary of Kia, moved away from a statement that it was in talks with Apple, Revise it to say only that it had been contacted by potential partners for the development of autonomous EVs. The news pushed Hyundai shares nearly 20% on the day. Kia shares are now at their highest level since 1997.

An Apple electric car would compete with the vehicles of Tesla Inc. and companies such as Lucid Motors and Chinese companies Nio Inc., as well as established manufacturers such as Daimler AG and Volkswagen AG. Setting up an auto factory can cost billions of dollars and take years, possibly the reason Apple is talking to potential partners.

Other tech companies looking to expand into cars have also sought partnerships. Taiwanese iPhone assembler Foxconn Technology Group said last month it was creation of a company with a Chinese car manufacturer Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. to provide production and consultancy services to global automotive companies.

– With the help of Mark Gurman

(Updates with Kia’s response to the third paragraph.)

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