Reuters is today backing up earlier reports of a meeting between Apple and luxury automaker BMW. CEO Tim Cook is said to have visited BMW’s headquarters last year, and other executives toured the company’s Leipzig plant. According to Reuters, Apple showed a particular interest in BMW’s i3 electric car and the manufacturing process which produces the vehicle’s carbon fiber body. Only a week ago, Manger Magazine reported on the Apple / BMW meeting and claimed that Cupertino may be eyeing the i3 as the foundation for its own, heavily rumored electric car. Hundreds of Apple employees are working on the secret project, The Wall Street Journal revealed in February.
The BMW i3 that Apple has showed interest in.
The initial report described Cook’s visit as “recent,” though this Reuters account would suggest otherwise. Reuters also claims that talks between the two sides have apparently faded without any finished deal or partnership. Apple — at least for now — has apparently decided that it would rather “explore developing a passenger car on its own.”
Recent shuffles in BMW’s executive ranks have also made a huge pact with Apple less likely. The automaker has long been hesitant to share its deepest manufacturing secrets and operational prowess with other companies. Harald Krueger took over as BMW CEO in May, and Reuters says he’s squarely focused on his company’s direct interests for now; giving thought to potential deals and new partnerships will have to wait. One Reuters source said there’s potential for senior executives from each side coming back together for more talks, but that’s by no means guaranteed.