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Apple’s Car Play Might be McLaren

Tech giant may be interest in British supercar maker.

by on Sep.21, 2016

If the rumors about Apple and McLaren are true, this could end up being the result of Project Titan.

After months of actions indicating that Apple may be unwilling to actually be an automotive manufacturer, it’s possible the technology behemoth is changing its mind … by throwing some of its billions of unspent cash around to acquire McLaren.

The British sportscar maker has been flirting with its own demise for years, but recently seemed to find solid footing, including unveiling new products. However, Apple approached the McLaren Technology Group about a possible acquisition, the Financial Times reported Wednesday without citing sources.

Global Auto News!

The new report runs counter to earlier stories suggesting that Apple has fired “dozens of employees” involved in Project Titan. Those moves were in sharp contrast from the aggressive hiring program that had been in places for the past year. Apple had hired a number of industry veterans from conventional automakers, as well as high-tech auto firm Tesla Motors.

While Apple officials have not commented on the report, McLaren officials told FT that the company was not in discussions with tech company, although didn’t deny being approached by Apple.

(Apple may back away from auto manufacturing. Click Here for more. )

Looks like this is the closest Apple may get to McLaren: The CarPlay system.

“We can confirm that McLaren is not in discussion with Apple in respect of any potential investment,” said McLaren officials in a one-line official statement.

Project Titan is alleged to be a self-driving electric car, but no Apple officials have ever confirmed the program’s existence. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, has suggested the automotive industry would be a good spot for Apple to expand its presence.

(Click Here for details about McLaren’s sales expectations for 2016.)

But rather than abandon Project Titan entirely, The New York Times and other media sources indicates Apple was looking to provide high-tech, autonomous – or even driverless – technology to existing automakers, rather than trying to build cars on its own. Such an effort could put it directly in competition with another tech giant, Google.

Now, in an about face, the company is considering a full takeover of McLaren or a strategic investment, the FT reported, citing three unnamed people briefed on the negotiations who said talks started several months ago.

(McLaren unveils 570GT by MSO Concept. Click Here for the story.)

McLaren is valued between $1.3 billion and $1.95 billion, the paper said. If the Cupertino, California-based giant makes the buy, it would be its largest acquisition since its purchased Beats Electronics, the audio group founded by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, in 2014.

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