“We are not in talks with Apple about developing self-driving cars,” Hyundai said in a statement.
The statement added that Hyundai had received requests from “many companies” regarding the development of electric autonomous cars, but “no decision has been taken because we are in the first stage.”
Hyundai-owned Kia Motors referred CNN Business to the parent company’s statement.
Apple declined to comment.
The announcement shocked investors, who had been betting on some kind of correlation between companies based on weeks of speculation and local news reports. Kia’s stock fell 13%, putting it on track for its worst day since 2008. Hyundai’s stock was down 5.6%.
Apple’s interest in South Korean auto makers made sense. Analysts indicated that Hyundai was open to cooperating with other companies and even technology companies; It already has partnerships with Chinese search giant Baidu and US chip maker Nvidia in autonomous driving, for example.
The automaker has already made great strides with next-generation vehicles, including hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and the electric vehicle manufacturing platform it unveiled in December.
But Apple may also choose to go into multiple partnerships, with analysts floating other major carmakers like Honda, Tata Motors’ Jaguar Land Rover and Geely, Volvo’s Chinese owner, as potential options.