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BMW seen as ideal match for Apple as car manufacturing partner

BMW AG may make for a powerful ally for Apple Inc. that may pair its car project with main innovation and manufacturing know-how, in accordance with Sanford C. Bernstein analysts.

Apple’s secretive plans for a car have lit up elements of the worldwide car business in latest months, after the iPhone-maker’s project regained momentum with new hires and talks with potential companions. While discussions have centered on Asian carmakers like Hyundai Motor Co., it’s not the primary time BMW’s identify has entered the combo.

“In our view, BMW could be the ideal partner for Apple,” analysts Arndt Ellinghorst and Toni Sacconaghi said in a report. “Both companies have a leading innovation claim, superior brand equity and design and are excellent in global manufacturing and value chain management.”

(Also learn | Apple in talks to purchase self-driving sensors, key step in iCar plan)

About half a decade in the past, stories surfaced of Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook visiting BMW’s Munich headquarters. Senior Apple executives traveled to the German luxury-car maker’s Leipzig manufacturing unit to check how the quirky i3 electrical hatchback is made.

Then-BMW CEO Harald Krueger confirmed an “trade” with international IT firms — including Apple — in an interview, but noted it was about vehicle connectivity. Now Apple is in the market for more than that.

(Also read | Nissan says ‘not in talks with Apple’ over autonomous car project)

Even so, BMW might hesitate to invite a budding rival with almost endlessly deep pockets into the fold. Any Apple car will probably lure tech-savvy buyers of premium vehicles, rather than agnostic drivers looking to get around.

“Traditional carmakers will be very careful when exploring a manufacturing partnership with Apple,” Bernstein stated. Any producer “doesn’t wish to find yourself turning into a mere enabler for the one of many world’s largest and greatest financially outfitted tech gamers.”

This story has been printed from a wire company feed with out modifications to the textual content.

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