Rumors that Apple is preparing a billion-dollar acquisition of the Formula One McLaren cars have made headlines all over the world. So much so that it almost eclipsed the running presidential campaign between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. However, the tsunami news was soon smothered by both parties’ strong denials that a takeover was ever on the table.
So why is this potential bid from Apple all the rage on Fleet Street and beyond, in the technology and automotive industry?
Apple Broadcasts Radio Silence in McLaren Cars Deal
For one, the American company rarely throws itself into big acquisitions. Its latest goes back two years ago when the Silicon Valley mogul company bought headphone maker Beats for $3 billion. On the contrary, Apple prefers to expand on its own turf. And car making looms on the horizon.
For years, Apple has been secretly harboring ambitions to make their own electric vehicle. Apparently, their car department exists only ‘on a need to know basis’. So much so they codenamed it ‘Project Titan’.
Their dream car was more in the vein of the Tesla rather than Google’s autonomous models. Chief executive Tom Cook allegedly gave the project the green light in 2015. However, the Apple logo never saw the light of day on the auto market. Somewhere along the way their drive coughed and sputtered.
In the circumstance, a potential acquisition of McLaren cars, a company boasting a fast-growing auto division and always racing ahead of its time with hyper hybrids and applied technologies for both electric and self-driven cars, doesn’t seem too far-fetched. Apple disagrees.
The company’s spokesman declined to comment on ‘rumor and speculation’. Although, their secrecy entails the media will fill the informational holes with just the thing.
Since all we get is radio silence on Apple’s side, how about trying to knock on the doors of the Woking-based Formula 1 company for a scoop?
McLaren Cars and Their Appeal to Apple
The British supercar manufacturer is not, as you might think, superficially hooked on need for speed. If you’re a newcomer on the race track, you wouldn’t know about the brand’s innovative engineering. Examples include the lightweight electric motor, carbon fiber and aluminum body panel, or the high-tech research developed in their prize lab in Woking.
“The attractiveness of McLaren – the designer of very high-end automotive products on and off the race track – to Apple, with its own reputation for design-centricity and technological expertise, is quite obvious. McLaren’s tagline could almost be Apple’s – ‘Designed and Engineered to Win’, Neil Campling, an analyst at Northern Trust Capital Markets, told The Guardian.
McLaren also denied any talks about a possible merger or investment. From Apple’s point of view, the real highlight in McLaren’s profile is its applied technologies business. After all, the tech titans are, although independently, both brainstorming for new ways to develop technology that could work in an electric and self-driven car. So why would they not share the same umbrella company?