British car maker McLaren has denied that it is in talks with Apple over a strategic investment or full-blown takeover.
A report in the Financial Times suggested that the American halo brand was considering a £1.2billion acquisition of the manufacturer of high-performance and Formula One cars.
“We can confirm that McLaren is not in discussion with Apple in respect of any potential investment,” read a McLaren statement.
However it then added: “As you would expect, the nature of our brand means we regularly have confidential conversations with a wide range of parties, but we keep them confidential.”
The FT’s report said that its source wasn’t sure if Apple was still interested after a “change of strategy” in its car plans.
Apple has long been rumoured to be working on an electric vehicle containing driverless technology – ‘Project Titan’ – with several hires and fires in that field.
More recently it has been reported that Apple is considering working exclusively on the software for autonomous vehicles – which are expensive to manufacture – rather than building its own.
Linking up with McLaren seems a strange move, as its road supercars range from £100,000 to £1 million in price.
Tesla’s high-end cars approach the cost of the cheapest McLaren, but CEO Elon Musk is committed to manufacturing lower-cost vehicles for the ‘masses’.
A link-up with McLaren would see Apple either own or potentially have access to McLaren Applied Technologies, which feeds a multitude of industries including healthcare, pharmaceuticals, energy, transportation and consumer brands.
Apple took a risk recently when it ditched the traditional headphone jack and bundled wireless ‘Airpods’ with the new iPhone 7.