Porsche, Apple Talking Potential Partnerships

Sports car maker Porsche and tech giant Apple Inc. talked last year about potential joint projects, Porsche Chief Executive Oliver Blume said Friday (March 18) during the company’s annual earnings call, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Executives from Porsche came to the US late last year for meetings with Apple and other tech companies about potential collaborations, said Blume.

“We already have Apple CarPlay,” he said of the software that connects iPhones to most new cars. “We will expand on that. We discussed a range of exciting projects with the Apple [executives].”

Porsche’s parent company, Volkswagen AG, plans to take the German car company public later this year, the report says. Apple didn’t respond to WSJ’s request for comment.

Blume, Porsche Chief Financial Officer Lutz Meschke and other Porsche board members met with undisclosed Apple executives in November at the Los Angeles Auto Show, a person familiar with the situation told WSJ, adding no particulars or negotiations were discussed during the session.

“There is nothing specific at this point,” the person said. “It had nothing to do with a car. They talked about various digital projects.”

Apple has been exploring ways to move beyond CarPlay since 2014, including a consideration of designing its own car, people familiar with the efforts have said, according to the report. It explored manufacturing partners and suppliers with the hopes of beginning production by 2024, the report says.

Hyundai Motor Group said it was talking with Apple early last year, but those discussions ended without a deal. Several Apple managers left the company last year, including Doug Field, who left for a senior role at Ford Motor Co.

Related: Apple Digital Car Keys Coming to Hyundai, Genesis Models this Summer

In January, multiple reports said Apple’s digital car key technology that opens and starts vehicles with a device app is coming to Hyundai and Genesis this summer and could be available to additional motor vehicle brands soon.

Car Key users can bring their phones or Apple Watches to the door handle to unlock it or place their phones in a given area to start the car. People with ultra-wideband iPhones (such as the iPhone 11 and newer) can even leave their phones in their pockets.

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