McLaren CEO admits to talks with Apple, but no bid was made

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
Officials from Apple met with premium automaker McLaren, but the discussions never went as far as a bid, the CEO of the sports car company has revealed in a new interview.




McLaren Chief Executive Mike Flewitt disclosed to Reuters that his company has received a number of bids, but none from Apple. Word first surfaced in September suggesting Apple was in talks to buy the high-performance car builder.

"They visited, we talked," Flewitt said. "We talked about what they did. We talked about what we did. They toured. It never matured to a definitive proposition."

The comments would seem to refute earlier rumors, suggesting Apple started negotiations to purchase McLaren for between ?1 billion and ?1.5 billion ($1.3 billion to $2 billion). At the time, it was claimed that discussions had been ongoing for months.

McLaren is known for custom luxury sports car builds, and runs an advanced technologies group that feeds designs to its own Formula One racing team. The company built 1654 vehicles in 2015, and generated ?450m ($585 million) in revenue from the sales.

McLaren Automotive is headquartered in the McLaren Production Centre at the McLaren Technology Campus in Woking, Surrey. All of its products are built by hand, with little or no automation involved in the process.




The existence of Apple's automotive project dubbed "Project Titan" first began to surface in early 2015. Soon after, AppleInsider discovered the automotive project was being run out of a top-secret facility in Sunnyvale, Calif.

The Titan team was at one time said to number above 1,000, including workers pulled in from other departments and specialists poached from automotive industry heavyweights.

In early September, Apple was said to have laid off dozens of workers from the as-yet unannounced Apple Car project. The layoffs were said to be because of a shift away from a whole-car approach, and towards a more specific software and control focus.

Since then, Apple is said to have set an internal deadline for late 2017 to assess the progress of its in-house self-driving technology. At that point, the company is expected to decide whether to pursue building its own vehicle, or to partner with an existing automaker.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    irelandireland Posts: 17,534member
    The same talks that previously didn't happen. Mildly interesting.
    edited November 2016 cornchip
  • Reply 2 of 18
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Strange. 
  • Reply 3 of 18
    What's McLaren's annual production?  
    cornchip
  • Reply 4 of 18
    kamilton said:
    What's McLaren's annual production?  
    Not sure, but very small. These are all hand-made, with prices to match. However, the engineering is second-to-none.
    cali
  • Reply 5 of 18
    Apple has more money parked off-shore than it knows what to do with. McLaren would be a good strategic purchase because it would provide access to a great source of design and engineering talent that would cross-fertilize what Apple has already.
    caliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 18
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    plovell said:
    Apple has more money parked off-shore than it knows what to do with. McLaren would be a good strategic purchase because it would provide access to a great source of design and engineering talent that would cross-fertilize what Apple has already.
     Apple plus McLaren would be a driving force. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 18
    cali said:
    plovell said:
    Apple has more money parked off-shore than it knows what to do with. McLaren would be a good strategic purchase because it would provide access to a great source of design and engineering talent that would cross-fertilize what Apple has already.
     Apple plus McLaren would be a driving force. 
    That depends. If Apple sees the future of transportation, at least when it comes to cars, as self-driving + autonomous, then maybe not.

    https://www.aboveavalon.com/notes/2016/11/17/skating-to-the-apple-car-puck
  • Reply 8 of 18
    Well, I am not surprised that Apple did not make an offer for McLaren because what they have today does not really fit in Apple's future plans except perhaps the engineers.

    Apple will most likely have to buy a car company if they want to manage the cloud data.  They can't license a CarOS piece meal like QNX and have it poorly implemented.

    At the end of the day, the most ideal company for Apple to buy is Tesla and they should do it soon.
    Tesla makes more sense than ever before now that they have acquired Solar City and Grohmann Engineering.
    Apple needs to make sure that they have a compelling CarOS and autonomous platform with which they can compete and win, Tesla will give them the jump start.

  • Reply 9 of 18
    irelandireland Posts: 17,534member
    plovell said:
    kamilton said:
    What's McLaren's annual production?  
    Not sure, but very small. These are all hand-made, with prices to match. However, the engineering is second-to-none.
    They also break down a bit like Jags, I hear.
    edited November 2016 cornchip
  • Reply 10 of 18
    plovell said:
    kamilton said:
    What's McLaren's annual production?  
    Not sure, but very small. These are all hand-made, with prices to match. However, the engineering is second-to-none.
    It would be an amazing partnership.  Perfect for exploring and developing electric and self-driving tech in cutting edge chassis.  Elon did his with Lotus, then on to the Model S.  Doesn't sound like McLaren could do any volume to speak of though.
    cali
  • Reply 11 of 18
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Well, I am not surprised that Apple did not make an offer for McLaren because what they have today does not really fit in Apple's future plans except perhaps the engineers.

    Apple will most likely have to buy a car company if they want to manage the cloud data.  They can't license a CarOS piece meal like QNX and have it poorly implemented.

    At the end of the day, the most ideal company for Apple to buy is Tesla and they should do it soon.
    Tesla makes more sense than ever before now that they have acquired Solar City and Grohmann Engineering.
    Apple needs to make sure that they have a compelling CarOS and autonomous platform with whichthey can compete and win, Tesla will give them the jump start.

     I don't like their car designs though.  I'm not sure if they're willing to sell either. 
  • Reply 12 of 18
    plovell said:
    kamilton said:
    What's McLaren's annual production?  
    Not sure, but very small. These are all hand-made, with prices to match. However, the engineering is second-to-none.
    They built 1654 vehicles last year, according to this article:
    http://forums.appleinsider.com/discussion/196842?
  • Reply 13 of 18
    LEADKED! Apple Car

    cornchipretrogusto
  • Reply 14 of 18
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    voodooru said:
    LEADKED! Apple Car

    Typical of Apple.  How do they expect professionals to drive a car with so few headlights?

    The Samsung Flote 9 has twice as many lamps, And those stories about it exploding if you bump the kerb are just lies made up by Apple sheep!!!

    watto_cobracornchip
  • Reply 15 of 18
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member

    cali said:
    plovell said:
    Apple has more money parked off-shore than it knows what to do with. McLaren would be a good strategic purchase because it would provide access to a great source of design and engineering talent that would cross-fertilize what Apple has already.
     Apple plus McLaren would be a driving force. 
    That depends. If Apple sees the future of transportation, at least when it comes to cars, as self-driving + autonomous, then maybe not.

    https://www.aboveavalon.com/notes/2016/11/17/skating-to-the-apple-car-puck
    The most believable analysis I've read so far. While they skating to where the puck was going to be, it ricocheted off in a different direction. 
  • Reply 16 of 18
    cali said:
    Well, I am not surprised that Apple did not make an offer for McLaren because what they have today does not really fit in Apple's future plans except perhaps the engineers.

    Apple will most likely have to buy a car company if they want to manage the cloud data.  They can't license a CarOS piece meal like QNX and have it poorly implemented.

    At the end of the day, the most ideal company for Apple to buy is Tesla and they should do it soon.
    Tesla makes more sense than ever before now that they have acquired Solar City and Grohmann Engineering.
    Apple needs to make sure that they have a compelling CarOS and autonomous platform with whichthey can compete and win, Tesla will give them the jump start.

     I don't like their car designs though.  I'm not sure if they're willing to sell either. 
    The dashboards could be better (the big tablets don't cut it) but externally they look Ok.


  • Reply 17 of 18
    awhawh Posts: 9member
    Perhaps it's not Maclaren Apple are interested in, but Gordon Murray Design

    Prof. Gordon Murray was MacLaren's chief designer for many years, and was responsible for many winning race car designs, as well as MacLaren's iconic F1, which many think of as the 20th century's most advanced (and expensive) road car.
    His company certainly speaks Apple's language  - the iStream production system uses iPanels, etc etc, and seems set on breaking out of traditional manufacturing strictures. Come to think of it, Tesla or Google might want to take a look too...

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