McLaren Confirms Talks With Apple, But They 'Never Matured to Definitive Proposition'

mclaren-apple-logoIn late September, the Financial Times reported Apple was considering a full takeover of McLaren Automotive or a strategic investment in the British supercar maker.

The New York Times and Bloomberg separately reported talks were underway as well, noting Apple was more likely to make a large investment in McLaren rather than buy it.

Two months later, it now turns out those reports were accurate. In an interview with Reuters, McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt confirmed McLaren was in discussions with Apple, but he said the talks never progressed towards a definitive proposition. He also ruled out a takeover bid from Apple.

"There wasn't a bid from Apple," said Flewitt. "They visited. We talked. We talked about what they did. We talked about what we did. They toured. It never matured to a definitive proposition," he said.

McLaren previously said it was "not in discussion with Apple in respect of any potential investment," a seemingly purposefully vague statement that did not rule out discussions between the companies entirely. Financial Times reporter Tim Bradshaw rightly stood by his story despite McLaren's statement.

Apple's interest in McLaren may have diminished as the iPhone maker's ambitions reportedly no longer include building its own car "for now." Under the leadership of Bob Mansfield, Apple's automotive team has reportedly shifted its focus towards developing an underlying system and technologies for autonomous vehicles.

McLaren, headquartered in Woking, Surrey, manufactures high-performance sports cars, including the P1 and F1 models that look similar to Formula One race cars. The carmaker produced just 1,654 vehicles last year, some costing as much as $1 million apiece. Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller is said to own a McLaren.

McLaren has a Formula One team itself that competes under the name McLaren Honda, winning more F1 Grand Prix races than any other team since 1966. Formula One itself was sold to U.S.-based Liberty Media for $4.4 billion in August. McLaren Automotive and McLaren Racing are subsidiaries of McLaren Technology Group.

(Thanks, OllyW!)

Related Roundup: Apple Car
Tag: McLaren

Top Rated Comments

AZREOSpecialist Avatar
56 months ago
Makes sense. Apple is too cheap to pay what another company is worth and has absolutely no direction on future innovation. Now they went from building a car, which was relatively stupid, to making systems that no vehicle manufacturer will want. Why would vehicle manufacturers want anything from Apple when they develop their own semi-autonomoues technologies in-house or get them from Mobileye? Even Tesla rolled its own solution into production vehicles in less than a year... Apple has been chewing on this for how long? Idiots.

After $20 billion in R&D, Apple will announce something stupid that nobody wants. And Tim Cook will talk about all the great products in the pipeline. Unfortunately, by the time anything they are "working on" is ready, iPhone and iPad sales will be tanking while other companies, like Google, innovate with actually desirable phones like the Pixel. Nobody will want a car that integrates seamlessly into the iOS ecosystem by 2020. Look at the sales trajectory of Apple's mobile products: DOWN.

Tim Cook's days are numbered, that is, if the Board of Directors is paying any attention to what's not happening in Cupertino: Innovation. Cook has not structured the company in a way that promotes innovation, clearly evident by the lack of any attention being paid to its UI and product lines. Phil Schiller keeps getting fatter as he pumps out useless products nobody wants.

This is a very sad time for Apple.
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jimmy James Avatar
56 months ago
The last thing I wanted to hear was Jony justifying his design choices for a supercar.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tacitus Avatar
56 months ago

Tim Cook's days are numbered,
Wrong target. It's Ive that's doing the damage. When I see a laptop where everything is soldered to the motherboard, including AFAICT, the touch ID, I conclude function has gone bye-byes. A computer where any damage to what effectively is the 'On' switch needs a new motherboard including the SSD, is design gone mad.

I've been a Mac user since the early 90s and if Windows wasn't such a pos, I'd be looking seriously at jumping ship.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hawkeye_a Avatar
56 months ago
McLaren's, Beats headphones, music subscriptions.....

I wonder if anyone there is focused on making some good Macs?
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bingeciren Avatar
56 months ago

if Windows wasn't such a pos, I'd be looking seriously at jumping ship.
I feel the same way. The only way Windows can compete with macOS is abandon its Registry based virus heaven legacy foundation and completely re-design a new Unix based OS from ground up. Are they "courageous" enough to do it? I doubt it very much.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ThomasJL Avatar
56 months ago
If Apple takes over McLaren, will McLaren be renamed MacLaren?

If they make a Formula 1 car, they can call it the MacLaren Pro.

If they make a street-legal car for consumers, they can call it the iMacLaren.

If they make a small roadster, they can call it the MacLaren Mini.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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