Porsche, Apple discuss potential partnerships
Sports car maker Porsche and tech giant Apple Inc. talked about possible joint projects last year, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said on Friday (March 18) during the company’s annual conference call, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Porsche executives came to the US late last year to meet with Apple and other tech companies about potential collaborations, Blume said.
“We already have Apple CarPlay,” he said of the software that connects iPhones to most new cars. “We will expand that. We discussed a number of exciting projects with Apple [executives].”
Porsche’s parent company, Volkswagen AG, plans to list the German automaker later this year, the report said. Apple did not respond to the WSJ’s request for comment.
Blume, Porsche CFO Lutz Meschke and other Porsche board members met with unnamed Apple executives at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, a person familiar with the situation told WSJ, adding that no details or negotiations were released during the meeting were discussed.
“There is nothing concrete at this point,” the person said. “It had nothing to do with a car. They talked about different digital projects.”
Apple has been exploring ways to go beyond CarPlay since 2014, including considering designing its own car, people familiar with the effort said, according to the report. It is scouting manufacturing partners and suppliers in hopes of starting production by 2024, the report said.
Hyundai Motor Group said it held talks with Apple early last year, but those talks ended with no deal. Several Apple executives left the company in the past year, including Doug Field, who is running for an executive position at Ford Motor Co.
Related: Apple digital car keys are coming to Hyundai, Genesis Models this summer
In January, multiple reports said Apple’s digital car key technology, which unlocks and starts vehicles with a device app, is coming to Hyundai and Genesis this summer and could soon be coming to other car brands.
Car key users can bring their phones or Apple Watches to the door handle to unlock them, or place their phones in a designated area to start the car. Those with ultra-wideband iPhones (like the iPhone 11 and newer) can even keep their phones in their pockets.