Much ado about nothing? Of late, speculation has been rife that Hyundai and/or Kia will be partnering with Apple on developing autonomous electric vehicles. Apple has never commented on it, but the Korean carmaker now has. Hyundai and Kia said today that they are not in talks with Apple on developing autonomous vehicles.

Naturally, this announcement sent the two carmakers’ shares tumbling – Hyundai down 6.8% and Kia down 13.6% respectively as of 1216 GMT, versus the broader South Korea KOSPI’s 0.6% decline, Nikkei reported. So far in 2021, Hyundai’s shares has climbed 30% and Kia 63% on reports that may build Apple’s long-rumoured car. Was there basis or was it someone’s attempt at stock price manipulation?

It all started in early January, when Korea Economic Daily TV reported that Apple and Hyundai were in talks to develop self-driving EVs by 2027 and develop batteries at US factories operated by either Hyundai or Kia. Analysts proceeded to talk about the “Apple Car” using Hyundai’s Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), adding other big auto groups like GM and PSA in the mix.

After years of not hearing about the iPhone maker’s “Project Titan”, Reuters reported in December last year that Apple was moving forward with autonomous car technology and wanted to produce a passenger car with its own breakthrough battery technology as early as 2024.