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Earlier this month, rumors suggested Apple had been in talks with BMW about potentially using the body of the electric BMW i3 as the basis for its Apple Car, but those talks did not progress into a deal. Reuters has now spoken with some inside sources at BMW, giving us more insight into what the two companies discussed and where their relationship might lead in the future.

Apple CEO Tim Cook and other senior executives visited the BMW factory in Leipzig, Germany in 2014 to look into how the i3 is manufactured. According to Reuters' source, Apple left the talks without reaching a deal with BMW because the company wants "to explore developing a passenger car on its own."

bmwi3-800x448.jpg
During the visit, Apple executives asked BMW board members detailed questions about tooling and production and BMW executives signaled readiness to license parts, one of the sources said. News of the Leipzig visit first emerged in Germany's Manager-Magazin last week.

"Apple executives were impressed with the fact that we abandoned traditional approaches to car making and started afresh. It chimed with the way they do things too," a senior BMW source said.
Apple and BMW do not have plans to jointly develop a car at this time, but one of the sources believes that "exploratory talks" could potentially be revived in the future. Given Apple's lack of experience with industrial manufacturing, a partnership with BMW or another car company would make sense, as it could help speed up development and eliminate many of the headaches associated with entering an entirely new industry.

Details on Apple's rumored car project remain scarce, but the company has been hiring several automotive experts over the past few months. Apple is said to have hundreds of employees working on the secret car project and has picked up employees from companies like Tesla, Ford, and GM, along with robotics experts and researchers specializing in cutting-edge car technologies.

Rumors have suggested Apple plans to introduce its car by 2020, but Apple often works on projects that never make it to fruition, like the much-rumored Apple-branded television set. It's possible that Apple's car plans could be shelved or delayed in the future if the company is unhappy with its progress or finds entering the automobile market to be an unviable option.

Article Link: Apple, BMW Could Resume Talks Over Possible Apple Car Partnership 'At a Later Stage'
 
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gsmornot

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2014
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Around here, if you're not in a truck or SUV good luck. You will be in the smaller car.
 
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plexdk

macrumors 6502
Oct 18, 2007
497
637
Normally apple only enter markets where they feel like they can make a difference.. Can't really see how to differentiate here.. Google, Bmw, Audi and others are already working on self driving cars.. What are they gonna do different here?
 
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RogerWilco

macrumors 6502a
Jul 29, 2011
770
1,263
Another timely release of this hoary "auto-strategy" rumor. Apple PR plays the Press (and Wall Street) like a cheap fiddle.
 
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odditie

macrumors 6502
Jan 6, 2004
290
183
Please just don't have an image with all these rumors rather than the one you are currently using.
 
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budselectjr

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2009
992
1,822
Minnesota
Hear hear. The best selling car last year was the Ford F series at around 680K units. The only way you get numbers like that is by representing a certain lifestyle. We all know who buys an F series and why.

Likewise, the Tesla Model III represents a lifestyle choice, and the pent-up demand of everyone who wants a Tesla but can't afford one will propel Model III sales past the F-Series, IMO.

Apple would be smart to have the Model III be an Apple product.

Agreed. I am a long term Tesla investor but would think Apple's supply chain knowledge would benefit them greatly as they have to ramp up X and Model 3 production. The Gigafactory is basically 100% financed and will be open in April. Would make a hell of a lot more sense then buying Beats. Musk is friends with Larry Page though so who knows if he would sell to Apple.
 
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Heltik

macrumors 6502
Jul 16, 2002
254
51
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I still don’t see why Apple is even interested in that market. What is so interesting about it?
Most working people spend up to several hours in their vehicles each day. If Apple can extend its ecosystem into that time, it is valuable for it, and also prevents competitors from encroaching into Apple's space.
 
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Lazy

macrumors 6502
May 27, 2003
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Silicon Valley
"Apple executives asked BMW board members detailed questions about tooling and production"

I doubt it. Board members would be pretty far removed from those details. Many other high and mid level executives would be a much better source for details about those things.
 
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Rocketman

macrumors 603
BMW may be Apple's analog in the car world, but Apple typically does as much in-house as possible. It even designs its own chips for its flagship products now and uses fabs to do the actual manufacturing and assemblers to do the packaging.

If Apple applies that model to cars and light trucks, it will likely have a Designed in California label, but have parts made all over the world and assembled in some low cost country like Mexico. I doubt USA politicians will successfully make a business friendly environment anytime in the next 8 years.

The idea of a software and hardware integrated car designed from a blank sheet might be more revolutionary than most people expect. The coolest part is Apple's focus on security and leaning against the NSA and FBI guys. I want a car that the fuzz can't brick!

Rocketman

I hope they make a "black car" alternative with 8+ passengers, and compartmentalized privacy, to service the sharing meme. Imagine a car with doors on only one side.
 
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Lazy

macrumors 6502
May 27, 2003
303
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Silicon Valley
Just buy Tesla and be done with it.

That'd be dumb. Let's see, Tesla's market cap right now is about $33 billion. They've only spent in the low single digits to develop what they have now. If Apple wants to get into cars they'd save $25-30 billion by developing their own (including possibly partnering with other automakers) instead of buying Tesla.
 
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usarioclave

macrumors 65816
Sep 26, 2003
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Most working people spend up to several hours in their vehicles each day. If Apple can extend its ecosystem into that time, it is valuable for it, and also prevents competitors from encroaching into Apple's space.

I'm not sure what Apple can bring to the table here, except for a design process that works and excellent manufacturing skills. Can they make a better car? Maybe.

Tesla has shown that it's possible for totally new entrants in the car market to succeed...assuming that the metrics for success don't include making money.
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,308
28,054
Neither Apple nor BMW, and certainly not a combination of the two has the necessary vision and follow through to do a car right. I don't think they got the watch right, Apple music is a miss, and I'm frightened of what they'll pump out for a tv product.
Well gee then I guess Apple should just stop ever doing anything new because what they're currently doing now isn't perfect?
 
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