Apple won’t officially confirm that it’s working on an electric, autonomous car, but over the last few months several reports hinted at a secret Apple division working on their first car. It has been previously rumored that Apple would be designing the car and its software, while an established car company would handle the manufacturing. Among those companies BMW and Daimler were often mentioned.
But according to German business publication Handelsblatt, the two German premium auto makers are out. “Industry sources” tells Handelsblatt that the automakers left the negotiating table over disagreements related to control and data. “Apple wants the car to be closely built into its own cloud software, while the German carmakers have made customer data protection a key element of their future strategy,” the report says.
The talks with BMW collapsed last year, while those with Daimler collapsed more recently, the sources said.
Apple CEO Tim Cook visited BMW’s headquarters in Munich last year and senior Apple executives toured the car company’s factory in Leipzig to see how it makes its i3 electric car.
Apple is also said to be in talks with Magna Steyr. Apple executives have visited Austria to speak with Magna Steyr and there’s not yet any indication that those talks have come to an end. Today’s report suggests Magna Steyr is the frontrunner to work with Apple on manufacturing the so-called Apple Car.