Hyundai keeps mum on car tie-up report with Apple

South Korea's Hyundai Motor said Friday (January 8) it's in early talks with Apple after local media reported the two companies were discussing an electric car and battery tie-up.

News of the possible deal with Apple sent Hyundai shares surging by 25%, and comes weeks after Reuters reported that Apple was aiming to produce a self-driving car by 2024.

Earlier on Friday, Korea Economic Daily TV said Apple and Hyundai were in talks to develop self-driving electric cars by 2027 and batteries at U.S. factories operated by either Hyundai or its affiliate Kia Motors.

But Hyundai later said in a statement that discussions with Apple are "at an early stage and nothing has been decided," without specifying what the talks were about.

Apple declined to comment.

An Apple-branded car could be a big challenge to electric car market leader Tesla.

Analysts say Apple may be interested in using Hyundai's electric car platform and facilities to cut manufacturing costs.

A tie-up with Apple would also be a major boost for Hyundai, whose global sales last year fell more than 15% due to the global health crisis.