Rumour: BMW and Daimler drop Apple talks over data ownership
Issue Date: 2016-05-13


German carmakers Daimler and BMW have ended talks with Apple over a cooperation deal on an electric car, Handelsblatt has learned from industry sources.

The U.S. tech firm is looking for a partner that could lend it expertise in manufacturing an electric "iCar." The favorite is believed to be Canadian-Austrian firm Magna.

Apple's plan has been to develop a highly-networked electric car that would also be at least partially self-driving.

Neither of the three companies would even confirm that negotiations had taken place. Magno also declined to comment.

Sources said the talks with both German carmakers collapsed over the key questions of who would lead the project and, above all, which company would have ownership of the data.

Apple wants the car to be closely built into its own cloud software, while the German carmakers have made customer data protection a key element of their future strategy.

The talks with BMW collapsed last year, while those with Daimler collapsed more recently, the sources said.

Apple is primarily looking for German technology and specialists for the project. The search is being conducted out of an office in Berlin.