Everything dies, baby that's a fact, Bruce Springsteen once wrote, but maybe everything that dies someday comes back. He may have been talking about love, but his words ring true about the Apple Car, as well. Apple's long-brewing vehicular plans were presumed dead — or at least frozen in carbonite – until last December, when Reuters dropped a news bomb on an unsuspecting world: the Apple Car project was back on.
Now, Reuters is following that apparent scoop up with another hot piece of news about Tim Cook & Co.'s plans to reshape the automotive world: we could see the first version of the Apple Car as soon as next year, and it'll be produced in America.
The Reuters report builds off one by a South Korean newspaper, IT News, which reported on Sunday that Apple is indeed planning on building its vehicle with the help of the Hyundai Motor Group, after the latter revealed late last week (and then tried to walk back) that it was in talks with Cupertino.
According to the initial report from IT News (portions of which were later removed for unknown reasons), Apple and Hyundai plan to launch a so-called "beta version" of the Apple Car in 2022, ahead of a planned production launch around 2024. The customer cars would be built in America, according to the report, either at the Kia plant in Georgia that currently builds the Telluride, Sorento and K5 or at a new facility.
The report suggests that Hyundai and Apple are targeting a production capacity of 100,000 vehicles for the first year of production at a new plant, with an ultimate capacity of around 400,000 units per year. If that lines up with Apple's expectations for expected global sales, that would mean the Silicon Valley giant apparently hopes to compete on a similar scale as Tesla does, as Elon Musk's EV brand only surpassed that level last year.
Both Apple and Hyundai refrained from offering much in the way of comment on the story to reuters; the former offered "no immediate comment," while Hyundai reiterated its previous statement from last week that it had, indeed, received inquiries about autonomous EV partnerships from assorted parties. But while the details remain fuzzy, the growing clamor of news and rumor around this does indeed suggest that Apple is in fact planning on unleashing its very own self-driving electric car on the world in the next few years.