New BMW CEO still willing to talk with tech firms like Apple, hints at manufacturing partnership

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited September 2015
BMW's newly-installed CEO, Harald Krueger, remains as interested in his predecessor in partnerships with Apple and other tech firms, reports said on Monday.




"Fundamentally, both partners need to profit from the cooperation, otherwise it will not last. And both companies need to share the same principles, for example with regard to data security," Kreuger told Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung, as quoted by Reuters.

Apple and BMW have allegedly been communicating some time, to extent that Apple CEO Tim Cook and a team of senior managers visited BMW's electric car facility in Leipzig in 2014. The BMW i3 might have become the basis for an Apple-designed car, though that particular idea appears to have been dropped. Broader talks were reportedly interrupted during the changeover to Krueger.

Rumors have suggested that BMW could be a manufacturing partner for an Apple car. While Apple is believed to have several hundred people working on a potentially self-driving electric vehicle under the codename Project Titan, it lacks any deals or facilities for actually building such a product. Krueger addressed the possibility of a manufacturing link-up with Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

"Let me answer in general terms. There is something which makes BMW Group and Apple very similar. Both are companies with strong brands," he said.

BMW has previously expressed caution about sharing information with companies like Apple, worried that it might effectively become just another supplier. At the same time, technologies like self-driving systems may demand increasing amounts of help from companies like Apple and Google, which are more familiar with software.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    Why is the preview image of the Mercedes concept?
  • Reply 2 of 15
    An aside: Why oh why do car companies think that a proper hybrid or electric car has to be godawful ugly?
  • Reply 3 of 15
    tundraboy wrote: »
    An aside: Why oh why do car companies think that a proper hybrid or electric car has to be godawful ugly?

    1. Most people buy these cars for image; they want people to see how they're "better" than other people.
    2. Ford would like a word. Their hybrids and electric cars look just like the regular models. And then there's Tesla and Fisker.
  • Reply 4 of 15

    When/if BMW adopts CarPlay, I'll believe him. If he's not even willing to do that (despite his currently crappy iDrive interface), I doubt that this amounts to much more than cheap talk.

     

    Also, there's no consumer-facing IT company with a greater focus on security than Apple. What an arrogant, vacuous statement for that guy to make.

     

    (Edited)

  • Reply 5 of 15
    tundraboy wrote: »
    An aside: Why oh why do car companies think that a proper hybrid or electric car has to be godawful ugly?

    1. Most people buy these cars for image; they want people to see how they're "better" than other people.
    2. Ford would like a word. Their hybrids and electric cars look just like the regular models. And then there's Tesla and Fisker.

    The Prius is more popular than the Honda hybrids even though the Hondas look nicer. When surveyed the respondents said that they wanted it known that they were driving a hybrid which is why they chose the Prius over a hybrid version of a regular Honda model.
  • Reply 6 of 15
    Traditional car companies really have to make some tough decision soon. Lets start with the simpler one on if and how to include technologies like carplay:

    Owning the UI is absolutely key to premium vendors like BMW. Not only is it part of their brand image but a good part of their revenue stream as they charge a lot for add on features. Also carpal is very very basic right now so it can only be an option. Pretty sure this will happen but especially the big dogs will try to make suer it is only one of many

    Cooperating with Apple (or google) on electrical cars is much more tough to decide. There are 2 or 3 core competencies in car makers.

    1. the drive train (engine, transmission etc) is absolutely key and very very much engraved in their DNA
    2. Design of the car
    3. Manufacturing technology
    4. Upcoming self driving technologies

    Electric cars make #1 much much simpler so that most good companies can probably do it. So car companies are trying to fight that and at least do not give away more then really necessary
    #3 is another key one. That is something they will certainly keep but they do not want to be a say contract manufacturer to Apple
    #4 is something where they would certainly like to play together.

    So the questions is how do you do #4 together without loosing to much IP. Not easy indeed
  • Reply 7 of 15
    irelandireland Posts: 17,671member
    This article proves nothing.
  • Reply 8 of 15
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member

    My guess is the BMW CEO is worried that they will show Apple how it's done and then find out later that a Chinese company is making cars for Apple.

  • Reply 9 of 15
    Americans cannot build cars, same way that there wouldn't be NASA w/o German rocket scientists. They are the the embodiment of the Windows/PC crap, I've driven Ford, Chevy, Teslas you still feel that this isn't northern European engineering the same way you feel that Windows 8 is.. just windows 8.
    Drive a BMW or Porsche and all of a sudden you are in control and not the other way around.
  • Reply 10 of 15
    chelin wrote: »
    Americans cannot build cars, same way that there wouldn't be NASA w/o German rocket scientists. They are the the embodiment of the Windows/PC crap, I've driven Ford, Chevy, Teslas you still feel that this isn't northern European engineering the same way you feel that Windows 8 is.. just windows 8.
    Drive a BMW or Porsche and all of a sudden you are in control and not the other way around.

    You mean Americans are no good at designing a car. There are some European, and Japanese cars that are built in the USA.
  • Reply 11 of 15
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    You mean Americans are no good at designing a car. There are some European, and Japanese cars that are built in the USA.



    Correct, the same as there are no American built iPhones

  • Reply 12 of 15

    I've said all along - of all the car companies Apple could partner with, BMW is the most logical fit. BMW has an employee course called Brand Academy where they learn about BMW and also discuss other brands (not cars, but everything from Corn Flakes to Heinz Ketchup) to determine what defines a "brand". They also discuss Apple/iPhone at length comparing the similarities between Apple and BMW for brand recognition. 

     

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post



    An aside: Why oh why do car companies think that a proper hybrid or electric car has to be godawful ugly?

     

    The greatest improvements in fuel efficiency don't come from better powertrains - they come from aerodynamics and reduction in rolling resistance (skinny tires). When you see an "ugly" design it's likely the result of wind tunnel testing to get the best possible shape within the confines of the vehicle type they're trying to make.

     

    The funny thing with aerodynamics is a shape that looks sleek might not actually be very aerodynamic and could have higher drag than a shape that doesn't look as sleek/smooth.

  • Reply 13 of 15
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by chelin View Post



    Correct, the same as there are no American built iPhones


    I'd love to own a European-built iPhone!

     

    Wait...

  • Reply 14 of 15
    chelin wrote: »
    Americans cannot build cars, same way that there wouldn't be NASA w/o German rocket scientists. They are the the embodiment of the Windows/PC crap, I've driven Ford, Chevy, Teslas you still feel that this isn't northern European engineering the same way you feel that Windows 8 is.. just windows 8.
    Drive a BMW or Porsche and all of a sudden you are in control and not the other way around.

    Until it breaks (inevitable, crap reliability) and the parts cost more than a small apartment.
  • Reply 15 of 15
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

     

     

    The greatest improvements in fuel efficiency don't come from better powertrains - they come from aerodynamics and reduction in rolling resistance (skinny tires). When you see an "ugly" design it's likely the result of wind tunnel testing to get the best possible shape within the confines of the vehicle type they're trying to make.

     


     

    That's not what I mean.  I fully understand the dictates of the wind tunnel but I'm talking about the surface ornamentation and the cutlines that the designers choose in an effort to what?  Be distinctive, or to satisfy some notion of what an electric car should look like?  I admit I'm making a gross generalization because the Tesla does look nice.  But look at the BMW i3.  Of all the cars to get your design inspiration from, why pick the Pontiac Aztek?  Or take a look at the Toyota Mirai.  What the hell is that?  I understand aesthetics is subjective but I think there still exists some sort of consensus on when an a design crosses over from distinctive to repellant.

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