Apple in Talks to Acquire Supercar Maker McLaren: Report
Apple is also reportedly interested in buying electric motorbike company Lit Motors, according to other reports.Continuing to map out its direction in the electric vehicle industry, Apple reportedly has been in acquisition talks with luxury supercar maker McLaren Technology Group and with San Francisco electric motorbike startup Lit Motors. The talks between McLaren and Apple were reported Sept. 21 by The (London) Financial Times, which said the companies have been discussing the possible acquisition of McLaren for several months, based on interviews with three unnamed people who are familiar with the discussions. Apple initiated the talks as part of its ongoing efforts to enter the electric auto market, the article reported. McLaren has been working on electric vehicle development for more than two years. "A tie-up with McLaren, whose expertise ranges from automotive engineering and on-board computer systems to novel chassis materials, such as carbon fiber and aluminum, could accelerate Apple's secretive automotive project," according to the report. The McLaren talks come at an interesting time for Apple, which recently began a "reboot" of its Project Titan electric vehicle program, according to a Sept. 12 eWEEK report. Apple reportedly laid off dozens of employees and shuttered parts of the project, as executives decide how to proceed. Apple has never publicly acknowledged its self-driving car initiative, but its hiring of a wide range of automotive industry professionals over the last few years has spoken volumes. Project Titan is initially seen as an electric vehicle program but will also reportedly have an autonomous car component as well.
A separate Sept. 21 report by The New York Times said Apple is also in talks to acquire Lit Motors, which has developed an electric self-balancing motorcycle. The report, which is based on anonymous sources, said Apple already employs several former Lit Motors engineers.