Apple shares have gone higher as analysts re-rated the giant’s long-term potential following reports that it will join with automaker Hyundai-Kia to build a new “Apple Car.”

Stocks in Apple were higher by 1.11% at $135.43 in Thursday trading after reports that it was getting closer to an agreement with the South Korean car company to build electric and autonomous vehicles starting in 2024. 

Apple closed the trading day yesterday down 0.78% with a price of $133.94.

Apple and Kia both got boosted this week after a report from a Korean newspaper claimed Apple was investing $3.6 billion into Kia to create the Apple Car. Apple will create a production run with Kia and build their cars at Kia’s Georgia plant, according to the release.

While not official yet, investors expect “Apple is partnering with a car maker to enter the electric vehicle market, and this will only add to the company’s long-term potential,” research analyst Dan Ives wrote in a note to his clients.

“We continue to see it as a matter of when, and not if, Apple breaks into the EV industry,” Ives stated, noting that Apple’s entrance into EVs “… will give another $30+ per share of TAM to Apple’s growth over the next three years or so, given the incoming EV transformation.”

Project Titan, as it is being called within Apple, has been scaled back greatly from its start a few years ago, though it now seems to be at the forefront again, Ives said.

Because of this, Ives says he would not be surprised to see Apple make deals for more strategic partnerships with companies like Tesla, Volkwagen or automakers like China’s NIO or Xpeng.

Apple’s ambitions with Hyundai-Kia have been a poorly hidden “secret.”

Earlier this month, Hyundai announced and then removed a comment confirming it was in discussions with Apple on making a self-driving vehicle.

The apparent mistake caused a big stir, not just because of investors’s reactions but because of Apple’s well-known secretive way of approaching announcements. 

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