Apple and BMW could restart talks about an Apple Car partnership at some point down the road

BMW i3

A week ago, a report surfaced that outlined Apple’s using the electric BMW i3 as a starting point for its future Apple Car.

At the same time, word on the street suggested that Apple and BMW had stalled talks leading up to some recent point. Now, though, Reuters has dug a bit deeper, speaking with unnamed sources and learning several new details. As previously reported, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook and other executives visited BMW in Leipzig, Germany, to visit a manufacturing area where the electric BMW i3 is put together.

The report suggests that Apple left the talks with BMW without coming to a deal, because they wanted “to explore developing a passenger car on its own.”

During the visit, Apple executives asked BMW board members detailed questions about tooling and production and BMW executives signaled readiness to license parts, one of the sources said. News of the Leipzig visit first emerged in Germany’s Manager-Magazin last week.

“Apple executives were impressed with the fact that we abandoned traditional approaches to car making and started afresh. It chimed with the way they do things too,” a senior BMW source said.

As it stands right now, Apple and BMW don’t have any plans to work together to bring an Apple Car to life. However, the sources suggested that “exploratory talks” could restart at some point down the road. While Apple has manufacturing down for personal devices like the iPhone and iPad, jumping into the car industry would be a big move for the Cupertino-based company. A partnership with the likes of BMW, or another company, would be something the company would have to do, at least to start.

[via Reuters]