BMW, Daimler Electric Car Talks Officially Over With Apple

1 year ago by Inside EVs Staff 38

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook

It was reported in the past that Apple toured BMW facilities and had hopes of a partnership with the company in order to use the i3 as a foundation for the Apple Car. Since then, reports have been sketchy about the relationship, but pointed toward no official agreement.

Electrified Daimler Vehicles

Electrified Daimler Vehicles

Sources in the German auto industry have confirmed that BMW is not planning to partner with Apple. Recently, it was reported that Daimler is taking the same stance.

Handelsblatt News confirmed:

“German carmakers Daimler and BMW have ended talks with Apple over a cooperation deal on an electric car.”

This may have been influenced by multiple factors. Just this week, it was reported that Apple was looking to partner with Canadian-Austrian automaker Magna Steyr. However, like BMW and Daimler, no comments came from the company.

Reports said that the negotiations with the German companies came to a halt due to disagreements concerning which company would be the project leader and claim data ownership. Apple has hopes to connect the car to its own cloud software, but BMW and Daimler seemingly refuse to allow this due to their commitment to consumer data security.

With the new information this week confirming an Apple Car lab in Germany, along with the above press, it’s increasingly clear that Apple wants German (or at the least European) technology and automaker support. Added to this, Apple hired long time Aston Martin VP, Chris Porritt to allegedly head up Project Titan.

Source: Handelsblatt

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38 responses to "BMW, Daimler Electric Car Talks Officially Over With Apple"

  1. super390 says:

    It seems the one thing Apple isn’t interested in is making it cheap.

    1. Bonaire says:

      Watch out for sleeping giants. Companies like Honda can partner with Panasonic and engineer some offers to beat them all. Apple knows that FoxConn has already established an EV production system. However, they are initially shooting for the lower-end market and Apple wants to garner the profits with higher-priced vehicles.

  2. carcus says:

    So we have computer/software giants like Apple and we have car giants like Ford . . . each trying to push into the other’s arena.

    Interesting times.

    1. carcus says:

      “One thing GM, Ford, Tesla, Apple, Google and just about everyone who makes a car or hopes to, agrees on, it is that autonomous vehicles will be a reality faster than the public realizes. At Ford, Fields said the new Ford Smart Mobility subsidiary will help the automaker expand into mobility services where there are “significant growth opportunities.”

      Ford Creates New Mobility Services Subsidiary — GM also furthering efforts to straddle Detroit and Silicon Valley
      http://www.motortrend.com/news/ford-creates-new-mobility-services-subsidiary/

    2. Braben says:

      I don’t see Ford or BMW making cell phones. 😉

      1. Dan says:

        Samsung motors has been building cars for 12 years longer than it has been making cell phones.

        1. Braben says:

          Yes, but Samsung Motors was acquired by Renault more than 15 years ago, long before Samsung made smartphones.

          It’s obvious that Apple, Google etc. see an opening to disrupt and penetrate the car industry as it goes through a radical change due to autonomous driving and new drive train technologies. But I think this will be a lot more difficult than they expected.

          The smart phone market, on the other hand, is mostly saturated at this point and growth is stagnating. For Apple, which is extremely dependent on the iPhone, this is an existential threat. To me, this whole Apple car thing smells of desperation by a company that has largely lost the power to innovate since Jobs died. But I have been wrong before. 😉

          1. wavelet says:

            Hw was talking about cellphones in general, not necessarily smartphones.
            Samsung Motors was started in 1994; Samsung’s first cellphone, the SH-100, dates from 1988 (and they had a car phone 5 years before that).

    3. deborahoo7 says:

      Sounds like it…

  3. Alaa says:

    Why go to the Germans?

    1. sharkvolt says:

      Because the Americans, Koreans, and Japanese are too smart to hook up with Apple?

      Just teasing. 🙂

      1. They should just build it in China, so that they can fill up the car with iPhones when they ship it to the US and Europe.

    2. Agzand says:

      Making a very good car is easy. Making an excellent first rate car is extremely difficult. No other carmaker can make a car with the same build quality as BMW, Audi, Mercedes and Lexus at reasonable cost. This is not about drivetrain, it is the body that last multiple 100k miles.

      1. Alaa says:

        Pity they lost the war, and are about to get minced again!

        1. Agzand says:

          It is not 1940’s. Wake up.

      2. JakeY says:

        Lexus isn’t German. And German cars aren’t known for reliability (at least in more modern times). They are known for excellent initial build quality, but as the car ages, they have poor reliability and cost a lot of money to fix.

        Japanese cars (like Lexus) however are known for excellent reliability.

    3. Rich says:

      I was thinking the same thing. Since BMW and Daimler are getting their hat handed to them by Tesla, maybe Apple thought they would be more receptive to the idea.
      Daimler’s and VW’s largest stockholder is Big Oil so I’m not surprised Daimler turned them down. BMW is the runt of the German litter. I’m guessing BMW will regret this decision later.

      No big deal, Apple has enough cash on hand to build 50 Gigafactories and 50 mega auto-manufacturing plants (literally).

      1. Braben says:

        “Since BMW and Daimler are getting their hat handed to them by Tesla”

        Perhaps we should wait until Tesla generates more than a few percent of the revenue of BMW or Daimler before we declare them victor. Not to mention proits. 🙂

        1. Braben says:

          Should be “profits” (this board really needs an edit function) …

  4. Apple needs to wait for a market downturn and purchase a car manufacturer.

  5. Ian says:

    Stay away from traditional automakers. They have a vested interest in selling ICE vehicles.

    1. Anon says:

      It would be awesome if Apple and Tesla could co-operate on BEVs.

      Too much culture clash, I fear– despite Apple’s Surplus Offshore Cash Hoard, and Tesla’s BTTW Determination to lead the BEVolution by example.

      1. Sammy says:

        Tesla has figured out how to use software to control and run cars, among other things. It does not need Apple. Apple would be better off partnering with somebody like BYD or FF.

  6. Speculawyer says:

    How are they going to manufacture a car if they complete a design?

    Tesla lucked into the NUMMI factory. I guess there are mothballed auto factories in various places that they could pick up.

  7. SJC says:

    What was suppose to be in the deal for BMW, free iPhones?

  8. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    I don’t have any insider info here, but my guess is that Apple’s corporate attitude has a lot to do with the inability to partner with a name-brand auto maker. Apple’s idea of a partnership seems to be “Do everything exactly the way we tell you to.”

    I think the idea of an equal partnership is foreign to Apple.

    Partnering with a contract auto maker like Magna Steyr, one with no brand name to protect, would seem to be a much better path for Apple to pursue.

    1. Anon says:

      I thought Foxconn was getting into automotive manufacturing, and boasting of building a $15k EV?

      1. carcus says:

        The skeptical me thinks apple wants to hook up with the highest end manufacturer they can get for the first 5 to 7 years of prouduction — to establish their brand and learn all they can.

        After a few years they’re going to be focused on full autonomy, and all of the driving dynamics appeal will be mostly out the window, so a switch to more economical (Chinese (back to Foxconn?)) manufacturing would be be the logical next step.

        While this is obviously purely a guess. I could see how any major car manufacturer would be reluctant to hook up with apple. For the whole history of automobiles, the manufacturers have made their sales by appealing to the driver. Now, there is no driver — and it’s a whole new ball game.

        1. carcus says:

          Apple’s gotta be kicking themselves for not making their move back in 2009. They could have had their pick on their own terms back then, I bet.

  9. Clive says:

    I do not believe the story one bit.

    Nothing but a picture of Time C.

    Snake Oil!

  10. przemo_li says:

    Nobody have Tesla killer in the making.

    Even if Apple wanted to make one… no batteries are to be found for it!

    No matter what Apple will want Tesla scale or better here…. But who’s to supply those batteries?

    Thus Apple need to wait or invest.

    1. Braben says:

      “No matter what Apple will want Tesla scale or better here…. But who’s to supply those batteries?”

      LG Chem, Samsung SDI, Panasonic, AESC, BYD … there is no shortage of companies capable of large scale battery cell production. And most of them are better capitalized than Tesla.

      1. midimal says:

        Gigafactory 2 (Europe) and 3 (China) are coming soon 😉

  11. Delta says:

    This is BMW’s last chance and they missed it. Apple will do to BMW what they did to Blackberry. The ICar will be an internet device on wheels. It will be an entertainment centre controlled by Apple whereby you are transported from A to B. It will be a car just as much as a iPhone is a phone.
    Tesla gets it to some extent with their always on touch screens and lack of dashboards. But Apple will go all the way.
    It may have a virtual steering wheel. Remember that Apple got rid of the keypads of every phone before the IPhone.

    1. TomArt says:

      Interesting take – this rings true to me more than any other commentary I’ve read by anyone.

      1. Clive says:

        The story is just to funny.