- German source says Apple’s car could be built, sold and serviced by BMW
- Two companies are said to be close to an official agreement
- Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, reportedly visited BMW’s Leipzig factory to inspect the manufacturing of the i3, BMW’s smaller electric vehicle
- iCar dubbed ‘project Titan’ is expected to look a bit like a minivan
Rumours of an iCar have been circulating for over a year. Now the latest whispers suggest Apple may base its fabled electric vehicle on BMW’s i3 model. And the German source claims the tech giant’s first car could be built, sold and serviced by BMW. The two companies are said to be close to an official agreement, having attempted to ink a deal last year, Manager Magazine reported. MailOnline has approached both companies for comment. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook went to BMW’s headquarters last year and senior Apple executives toured the carmaker’s Leipzig factory to learn how it manufactures the i3 electric car, two sources familiar with the talks told Reuters. During the visit, Apple executives asked BMW board members detailed questions about tooling and production and BMW executives signaled readiness to license parts, one of the sources said.
The dialogue ended without conclusion because Apple appears to want to explore developing a passenger car on its own, one of the sources said. The carmaker says there are currently no talks with Apple about jointly developing a passenger car and Apple declined to comment. However, one of the sources said exploratory talks between senior managers may be revived at a later stage. It’s thought that the car, dubbed ‘Project Titan’ will look a bit like a minivan, compared with BMW’s sleek hatchback designs, Digital Trends reported. An industry expert has previously said the electric car could be on the road by 2020, putting it in direct competition with Tesla Motors, GM and more.
STEVE JOBS AND THE iCAR
Claims that Apple is building a car may seem like a leap, but it isn’t the first time such projects have been discussed by the Californian firm. In an interview last year, Apple board member Mickey Drexler said that before his death in 2011 Steve Jobs had considered building a car. He told Paul Goldberger: ‘Steve Jobs was gonna design an iCar. ‘I think cars have an extraordinary opportunity for cool design.’