“If it’s truly serious about cars, Apple Inc. should buy Aston Martin Holdings Ltd.,” Alex Webb writes for Bloomberg Gadfly. “For the prestige British carmaker, there’s clear mileage in the idea. Its owners are already planning an initial public offering and its CEO wants a “big brother” partner to help him keep pace with autonomous vehicle projects at much better capitalized rivals. You don’t get any bigger or richer than Apple.”
“The tech giant was reported to have looked at supercar manufacturer McLaren Technology Group Ltd. last year,” Webb writes. “With Apple’s car project appearing rudderless since it was scaled back 18 months ago, Aston could be an eye-catching and relatively cheap way to get back in the game.”
“Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo has 600 self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans in its fleet and has ordered thousands more,” Webb writes. “Apple has just 27 cars in California, and it’s unclear to what end… To develop a self-driving car, you need vast data sets to train the system, data you get from fleets of cars roaming the streets. So why wouldn’t Apple team up with one of the autos giants instead? It’s because established carmakers are understandably loathe to hand that kind of data to any Silicon Valley giant. They recognize the existential threat.”
“With less than 1 billion pounds ($1.4 billion) in yearly revenue, Aston’s hope for an IPO value of up to 5 billion pounds looks a little racy,” Webb writes. “While Apple wouldn’t want to overpay (it is notoriously careful on dealmaking), it has $285 billion of cash to play with. A deal would be a much smaller gamble than for, say, Tesla Inc., which Apple is believed to have considered a few years back.”
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MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s top brass have bought enough Astons that they should own the company already.
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