This news to some may seem as very much far fetched but to others, it may have a certain ray of truth or even a big possibility. Apparently, news that is circling around the web suggests that Apple is planning a $1.5 billion acquisition or, according to some, a significant investment into British car manufacturer McLaren.
If you wonder what these two might have in common or even if they have same or similar interests, we could tell you that they are more alike than you might think. Yes, they come from two different industries – Apple makes phones, gadgets, and apps and McLaren is one of the most famous sports cars manufacturers and also have a racing giant. Besides this, there are few other things to consider.
You know now for a while that Apple has expressed interest in car technology, but for now, we are not certain if they want to develop a car, we just know that they hired and fired a lot of automotive experts these past few years. Apple also invested into external talents such as Chinese ride-sharing service called Didi Chuxing. They apparently dominate their market so good that Uber decided not even to try their luck in China. Most of these info comes from Financial Times, and they are pretty reliable source, they do not rush into these thing easily without confirmations. You may recall their news about Apple’s big acquisition of Dr. Dre’s Beats headphone company; that was true. What adds fire to this report is recent moving of Apple’s veteran Bob Mansfield around Project Titan (Apple’s code name for their car efforts), and the reports that people in charge of car related technology now report directly to him.
Why is McLaren so appealing to Apple? According to Jim Holder from Autocar magazine “In the car industry as a whole, almost all companies work on a seven to 10-year cycle for new cars, McLaren has proven it can work on a three to five-year cycle, it can do that because of its racing pedigree. Every two weeks in Formula 1 they turn up with a newer, improved car. Never missing a deadline, and always seeking constant improvement.” That is probably one of the reasons, but what else you may ask? McLaren is more than just another car manufacturer.
You probably did not know that in Heathrow airport when you land, the gate that you are going to find yourself is determined by McLaren’s technology. It is supposed to work out which planes are landing and where and find gate exits that are supposed to get people out of the airport much faster. McLAren Applied Technologies (MAT) is in charge of that, but there is one more example. GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) toothpaste production wanted their help (MAT) on making the time for switching which specific type of toothpaste was being put into the tubes shorter. After MAT had got involved, they shortened that time from 39 minutes to 15 minutes saving them an extra £100 million a year.
Things like these are what fuels this kind of speculations on the web, and what makes this very much possible. I know that I wouldn’t mind getting new McLaren with every iPhone bought, but not sure if it will work that way 🙂