If Apple (AAPL -0.21%) does decide to get in the car business, it appears Hyundai Motor (HYMTF 0.43%) might be its partner of choice.
Shares of Hyundai surged 20% on Friday after Korean media reports that the automaker was in talks with Apple about co-developing a self-driving car. Apple's interest in the auto space has long been discussed. It was rekindled late last year following media reports that the tech giant has a small team of hardware engineers working on drive systems, vehicle interiors, and external vehicle body designs.
If Apple was to get into cars, it seems likely it would partner with another manufacturer, as it does for its phones, tablets, and other electronics gear.
Hyundai distanced itself from the talk later in the day Korean time, saying only that it has received requests for potential cooperation from a number of companies. A partnership with Apple would give Hyundai a significant boost to its branding, as well as potentially allow the company to team up and share some of the burden of developing autonomous and power train technologies.
Apple is notoriously secretive and in the past has discouraged business partners from discussing collaborations. Bloomberg reported Thursday that the so-called "iCar" development is still in its early stages, and any product launch is at least a half decade away . Assuming this is the case, Apple is likely in no rush to select a manufacturing partner.
It has long been assumed that if Apple does decide to develop a vehicle, it would work with third parties instead of developing the manufacturing capability in-house. In addition to Hyundai, Canadian auto parts manufacturer Magna International has also been mentioned as a potential partner.