However, an even more recent report from Top Gear claims that report to be false. McLaren Automotive, the road-car branch of the McLaren Technology Group, spoke with Top Gear and claimed that Apple and McLaren are in no talks whatsoever about a possible investment. “We can confirm that McLaren is not in discussion with Apple in respect of any potential investment.”
That’s all we have for now, but we’ll update you as we get it.[Source: Top Gear]
The rumors of a possible Apple car have been swirling for a few years now. The Silicon Valley-based tech giant has been investing in its own automobile program for awhile now. However, a recent shift in the Apple’s strategy have had many analysts guessing it would work more in the development of autonomous driving software and technology, rather than develop its own car. It’s also been rumored that Apple would outsource the manufacturing of an Apple Car to an outside company, such as BMW or Magna.
Recent reports are now indicating that Apple might actually heavily invest in, or fully acquire, McLaren Technology Group. While you may think of the Ferrari-beating supercars and race cars from McLaren, the Woking-based company is actually far more than just a supercar maker. The McLaren Technology Group owns 80 percent of McLaren Automotive, the latter being the maker of said supercars. However, MTG also owns the McLaren Formula One racing team and an advanced technologies group. The latter is most likely what Apple is after most of all.
While McLaren does excellent work in developing both race cars and road cars, where it also excels, quite under the radar, is in technology development. With electric powertrain, software and data acquisition technology being supplied to Formula One and even NASCAR, McLaren Technology Group has some of the most advanced automotive tech in the world.
McLaren is also one of the leading developers of lightweight material components for automobiles, such as carbon fiber chassis and aluminum components. These technologies could help Apple tremendously in building an autonomous and electric vehicle, as McLaren could provide all of the chassis, suspension and electric powertrain technologies while Apple could work on the software end of things.
The deal would also work out well for McLaren, as the brand isn’t doing so hot, financially. With its last reported revenues showing a pre-tax loss of £22.6 million. Apple is looking to acquire McLaren Technology Group for somewhere around £1 – £1.5 billion. While that doesn’t seem like a lot for a car company, being that BMW is valued at around $60 billion, McLaren is quite small, selling only 1,654 vehicles last year. BMW sold more that 1,600 today.
Overall, the things McLaren is invested in mirror what Apple is interested in. So it does actually make some sense for both companies. Apple can provide a serious financial boost for McLaren and McLaren can provide Apple with the technology and know-how to build an autonomous car. However, neither company has yet to comment, so we don’t know anything for sure. We’ll have more as we get it.[Source: Financial Times]