BMW and Daimler put the brakes on Apple Car deal

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Magna International Inc. is making cars for BMW.
Magna International Inc. is making cars for BMW.
Photo: BMW

Talks between Apple and German carmakers Daimler and BMW have fallen apart, after Apple sought to strike a deal with the companies for its electric car project. 

BMW and Apple have been rumored to be talking about a partnership for nearly a year now. Apple supposedly wanted to use BMW’s i3 carbon fiber body as the basis for its car but it appears that the company will have to go solo for now. 

Apple is reportedly looking for a partner to help it manufacture its self-driving electric car. Now that BMW and Daimler have dropped out, the Canadian-Austrian company Magma is most likely to become Apple’s partner, according to Handelsblatt.

The German newspaper’s sources claim talks between Apple and BMW and Daimler “collapsed over the key questions of who would lead the project and, above all, which company would have ownership of the data.”

While Apple wants to closely integrate its own cloud software with the networked cars, the German automakers are keen to protect customer data as part of their business strategies. Talks with Daimler ended more recently, while the discussions with BMW have been over since last year.

Manufacturing the Apple Car will be the hardest bit of Project Titan. Apple is hoping to find a third-party to handle manufacturing, similar to how Foxconn manufacturers and assembles the iPhone. The company recently hired former Tesla VP Chris Porritt as a product design administrator of the special project. Porritt will likely be put in charge of how to actually make the Apple Car once the final vision is ready.