Hyundai began an expansion of the Kia facility in Georgia last year to add about 700 new jobs.
Shares of Hyundai and Kia have soared on news of the potential Apple tie-up, according to news reports. Apple has said it hopes to start production as soon as 2024 on its driverless cars.
Manufacturing the so-called Apple Car could give Georgia a huge economic boost in cutting-edge technology.
Georgia is already becoming a center for electric vehicles, although not necessarily self-driving cars. SK Innovation, a South Korean company, is building a $2.6 billion plant near Commerce to make batteries for electric vehicles manufactured by Ford and Volkswagen.
The automotive industry contributes more than $3 billion a year to Georgia’s economy, according to the state Department of Economic Development. The Kia plant is by far Georgia’s biggest auto industry calling card, but the Peach State boasts more than 200 automotive companies, including the North American headquarters for Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and PSA Groupe.
Parts suppliers are scattered across the state, serving auto plants across the Southeast.