The New York Times and Business Insider have reported that Apple is in talks to purchase McLaren and Lit Motors. Regardless of the final outcome, like the investment in Didi Chuxing, this is just another piece of information that proves that Apple is surely interested in transportation of all shapes and sizes.
McLaren is a small British company, specializing in sports cars. The 5,000 employee McLaren Technology Group houses six different vehicle-related divisions, including everything from building luxury supercars, to supplying race teams. The company has top-notch experts and resources in the field of automotive technology.
The privately owned enterprise is one of the smallest independent automakers in the world, however, like Apple, its reach goes further than the general public is aware of. McLaren offers its vast R&D knowledge to a number of other ventures. The group is specifically cited for its innovations with carbon fiber, active suspension systems, and aerodynamics. To top it off, McLaren’s P1 hypercar is a plug-in hybrid, so the company is already ahead of the curve on electric car technology. While the brunt of the company’s work thus far has been related to Formula One racing and small-batch, pricey supercars, the technology that McLaren has been perfecting since 1981, could easily be used in any transportation project.
Lit Motors is a start-up, based out of San Francisco, California. The company has already developed an all-electric, self-balancing vehicle. It is said to have the convenience of a motorcycle, with the safety of a car. Those who have seen it in person explain that it looks sort of like a motorcycle bred with a smart car. Apple has already hired several former Lit employees for Project Titan. Lit owner, Danny Kim, is a lifelong builder with a future vision for transportation. He worked for Land Rover for a time and is said to be following the path of Steve Jobs.
It’s clear that acquiring McLaren and/or Lit might be the best opportunities that Apple has encountered, aside from having to “partner up” with another company, or “hire” a company to build its car.
McLaren offers years of expertise, connections with OEM suppliers and automotive gurus, and a state of the art facility for building vehicles. If you didn’t know it, you may think that the McLaren Development Center was owned or built by Apple. The unique, rounded structure completes a circle with its beautiful lake and is adorned with “Apple-like” interior concepts.
Lit’s mantra is, “We’re creating the future of transportation today.” The company offers technologies for smaller commuter vehicles that may complement McLaren, at the other end of the spectrum. The gyroscopic, self-balancing concept, while incredible, didn’t catch on much with the Segway. However, other companies like Toyota, are working on putting it into more traditional, practical vehicles. This is a segment that is mostly uncharted and offers Apple a different approach.
Source (The New York Times)