The FInacial Times reported last week that Apple has approached McLaren Technology Group over a potential sale of part or all of the company. According to the prestigious Brittish newspaper the deal could be worth over a £1.5 billion (which is in U.S. currency approximately $2 billion, and as the source was listed as “people familiar with the matter”. Both of the companies: Apple and McLaren didn’t commented directly to the Financial Times and New York Times. However McLaren Auto has said that an investment with either company has not discussed.
In the past several years it was speculated that Apple may be developing a car under the code name Project Titan, so the news could follow this information. That can be truth due to the facts that the tech giant has recruited hundreds from the auto industry and last year approached to the officials California’s GoMentum Station in order to gain access to the facility. It is a former naval base located in San Francisco surrounding, in nowadays largest secure facility for autonomous and connected car development in the world.
Possible McLaren deal will not be first Apple’s investment in auto industry
McLaren Technology Group is worldwide known consortium of high-tech businesses, mostly known because of the famous McLaren Formula One racing team and a stake in the McLaren Automotive road car business. They design. It’s a private company where modern machines such as the P1 hypercar and 650S and 675LT supercars are designed. Majority stakeholders are Ron Dennis, Mansour Ojjeh and the Bahrain government. The company doesn’t release financial results but in 2014 it recorded pre-tax losses of $29.3 million.
The Financial Times’ sources claim Apple is interested in McLaren’s technology, engineering expertise and numerous patents. For example, the company produces high-performance electric motors and ECU chips used in motorsport. However, the sources are unsure how a recently reported shift in Apple’s car strategy affects the deal. In July, Bloomberg reported that Apple had fired numerous staff from Project Titan in order to focus on developing technology for autonomous cars rather than developing an autonomous car of its own. Original team leader Steve Zadesky also left earlier in 2016. He’s since been succeeded by Apple veteran Bob Mansfield.
On the other hand, it could be that Apple is only backing off from manufacturing its own car. Bloomberg this month reported that staff from Canadian independent vehicle manufacturer Magna International was working with Apple on developing a car. It’s possible Magna ends up building Apple’s car, in the same way that Taiwan’s Foxconn builds the company’s famous iPhones.
The McLaren deal wouldn’t be Apple’s first in the auto industry. In May, Apple announced it had invested in Chinese ride-sharing giant Didi Chuxing Technology.