A recent Financial Times report said that Apple was in talks to purchase McLaren, the British automotive manufacturer of luxury sports cars. But the report was soon denied by a McLaren spokesperson who said, “We can confirm that McLaren is not in discussion with Apple in any respect of any potential investment.”
The Financial Times originally reported that Apple was looking to pay up to 1.5 billion pounds to purchase McLaren, or invest in a substantial amount of the business. The publication referred to sources it said had been briefed on negotiations between the two companies. It was alleged that Apple was interested in acquiring McLaren in order to further its own car projects.
The Financial Times said that Apple acquiring McLaren could “accelerate Apple’s secretive automotive project” seeing as the carmaker specializes in automotive engineering and on-board computer systems, to novel chassis materials such as carbon fibre and aluminum. Apple’s interest in the automotive industry was made public this year, when it invested $1 billion in Didi Chuxing, the Chinese ride-hailing services, similar to Uber.
But a report by BBC business reporter Theo Legget suggests that it’s unlikely that Apple would really be interested in a Formula One auto company. Legget says that it’s more likely that Apple would be interested in acquiring McLaren Applied Technologies, which is a sister business. It specializes in data analytics, using computers to predict scenarios that might occur in vehicles, so that the team can adapt and plan ahead. This technology could be useful for Apple as it moves forward with its driverless car project.