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Apple met with BMW to learn about making cars, says report

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bmw i3
Does Apple want to mimic the zero-emissions BMW i3?

Rumours of an electric car being built by Apple have been flying for years, and the evidence keeps mounting up.

Apple top brass have made several visits to BMW facilities over the last year, a new report reveals.

According to Reuters, “two sources familiar” with the matter revealed that Apple CEO Tim Cook went to BMW’s headquarters last year.

The report also suggests that “senior Apple executives” toured BMW’s Leipzig factory.

The visit was allegedly plotted so that Apple could “learn how it manufactures the i3 electric car”.

The i3 is BMW’s electric “zero emissions” five-door urban hatchback, which first entered production back in 2013.

“The dialogue ended without conclusion because Apple appears to want to explore developing a passenger car on its own,” the report continues.

It also suggests that BMW was “cautious” about sharing “manufacturing know-how” with Apple because it doesn’t want to end up as a “mere supplier” to a software giant.

Apple executives reportedly probed BMW board members on tooling, production, and parts licensing.

“Apple executives were impressed with the fact that we abandoned traditional approaches to car making and started afresh,” a senior BMW source was reported as saying. “It chimed with the way they do things too.”

However, it seems a partnership between BMW and Apple may be off the cards, as the article states:

“The carmaker says there are currently no talks with Apple about jointly developing a passenger car and Apple declined to comment.”

Related: Apple Car: The biggest challenges Apple faces

Back in February, the WSJ reported that Apple had “hundreds” of employees working on the design of an “Apple-branded electric vehicle”.

At the time, the car in question was tipped to be a “minivan like vehicle”.

Unfortunately, Apple has made no official comment on the matter of a custom-built car.

In March, an AppleInsider report suggested Apple was building an Apple Car – codename Project Titan – at a secret Sunnyvale campus via a shell company.

Do you think Apple is plotting an entry to the car market? Let us know in the comments.

toboev

August 1, 2015, 9:03 am

If BMW were "cautious" about revealing their manufacturing know-how to Apple, why would they be inviting them in for a manufacturing tour and technical discussions? Maybe the truth is Apple were there to discuss Apple software interfacing with or being incorporated into BMW cars? If they were wanting to get into car manufacturing I think BMW would have shown them the door.

Prem Desai

August 1, 2015, 12:19 pm

Don't care what Apple do - with cars or whatever as I won't be buying it.

I do care if BMW and Apple merge and make cars together. BMWs, generally, are for people who enjoy driving. Imagine Apple's input - you'd only be allowed to brake or aceelerate when Apple want to let you or if them deem it necessary - nightmare scenario!

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