• Apple In Talks With McLaren; McLaren Denies

Who is telling the truth?

These days, rumors in the automotive world are passed around like the dirtiest of diapers. One outlet publishes it, and 30 more outlets extend that reach. Take the most recent rumor originally brought to the surface by Financial Times that claimed apple was looking to buy McLaren – the maker of cars like the McLaren F1, McLaren 675 LT Spider, and the upcoming McLaren P16. These so-called talks, according to FT, were leaning toward apple securing full ownership of McLaren, but strategic investments were also said to be part of the discussions. This would have been a huge move for Apple’s Project Titan, which is rumored to bring us the world’s first Apple Car, but McLaren wasted no time in shooting down the rumor.

A McLaren Spokesperson has told multiple media outlets that “There’s no takeover, no strategic investment. It’s completely untrue.” McLaren has also released a statement that says, “We can confirm that McLaren is not in discussion with Apple in respect of any potential investment.” Even with these statements, Tim Bradshaw – one of the reporters responsible for FT’s original article – has taken to Twitter saying: “Obviously we stand by our story despite McLaren’s statement.”

So the question is, who is right? Is McLaren trying to keep such talks a secret or is the whole thing fabricated? If the rumors are true, and Apple is looking to purchase McLaren, why would McLaren deny having any talks with them at all? It’s hard to say for now, but the New York Times is reporting that Apple was also in talks with Lit Motors, a company that makes electric motorbikes. Perhaps FT’s “sources” misinterpreted the situation altogether. We’ll be watching this closely and will update you as we learn more, so stay tuned.

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Why it matters

I want to say there might be some truth in the rumors. Maybe there isn’t an acquisition or major investment in the works, but Apple could be willing to partner with McLaren in some kind of way to help get Project Titan over the edge. Just recently, it was reported by the NY Times that Titan engineers were laid off and Project Titan was “getting a reboot,” so it would make sense to reach out to other automakers. An automaker like McLaren seems like a far reach, and a major deal would be a bit out of the ordinary, but not unheard of. It wasn’t long ago that Apple purchased the Beats brand for $3 Billion, and more recently handed over $1 billion to a Chinese ride-hailing company. With McLaren posting loss after loss, the company is only valued at $2 billion which could very well be doable by apple. I’ll be watching to see where this goes.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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