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Car talk: Hyundai and Apple reportedly working together; Elon Musk is world's richest

Yahoo Finance's Pras Subramanian on reports of an Hyundai - Apple car tie up, and Elon Musk topping the world's richest list.

Video Transcript

ADAM SHAPIRO: Now we get news that Apple and Hyundai may start something new with electric cars. But then Hyundai says, not so fast. Preas Subramanian, save me here. And I hope I never have to drive that 1987 Hyundai again.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: [LAUGHS] Well, I want to see pictures of that car, Adam. But anyway--

ADAM SHAPIRO: I have pictures.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: You know, interesting bedfellows here, right, Adam? Earlier today, a Korean news network reporting that Apple had discussions with Hyundai about partnering to make an electric autonomous vehicle. Hyundai actually confirming those talks, but then reversing saying, you know what? We talk to all kinds people all the time about potential cooperation and stuff like that for EVs. No decisions have been made as of yet.

What's interesting is that this follows this report a couple weeks ago from Bloomberg, Mark Gurman there, talking about how Apple actually was kind of pretty advanced with their car efforts. For many years, we've been hearing that they've been pulling back from that. Gurman saying that there's a small team of engineers designing drive systems, and body parts, and exterior, interior, that sort of thing.

So you know, we have these conflicting reports, but it seems to show that Apple really is pushing forward. But we won't actually see anything potentially for at least a half decade.

JEN ROGERS: Pras, I have to be honest. When I saw that that they might be teaming up with Hyundai, I was a little surprised, because you don't necessarily think of Hyundai when you think of cool, new, exciting things. But could this partnership-- do think it makes sense on some levels?

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: You know, I think it does. People might be asking, you know, what about GM? Or what about a Volkswagen, for instance? But you know, Hyundai actually-- we don't know that much about them here, but they're actually a huge company in Korea. They're one of the most vertically integrated carmakers in the world. They're the biggest steelmaker in Korea.

So they make everything from transmissions to brakes, so they have kind of huge economies of scale that Apple could actually take advantage, because it's cheaper to produce. They could control the entire full production cycle of that car, so it would be a compelling partner for them.

ADAM SHAPIRO: I just have to put in a plug for Hyundai here, because that '87 Hyundai Excel I had was a great car. And they used to rebrand some of the cars they made. It was also the Mitsubishi-- I forget the name of it, and the Dodge Colt. That's how they got past the import quotas a million years ago. I want to ask you real quick, Elon Musk now the richest man in the world. He faces no threat, it would seem, whether it's an Apple-Hyundai partnership or a VW-Ford electric partnership. Seems like he's in the lead.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Yeah, sticking with the EVs here, right? I mean, if your shares are up 20% in the past five days, 700% in 2020. In the midst of an 11-day winning streak, it stands to show that someone who owns 20% of the company is going to be making a lot of money. Now the numbers show that Musk's around $195 billion in net worth, which is insane.

The company Tesla's worth nearly $800 billion, which is more than the top nine automakers combined. So I'm not surprised that Musk is where he is right now. But you think about, Tesla had a great year last year, right? 500,000 cars nearly produced. Profit in the last four quarters. So my question is, has Elon converted any of that to bitcoin? Has that even happened yet? Would that have increased his net worth here?