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BMW says talks with Apple are not connected to producing a new car

Recent negotiations between Apple and BMW weren't connected to developing a car, a BMW spokesman has said, citing discussions between the two parties as part of "regular talks."

German magazine Auto Motor und Sport cited a "high-ranking BMW manager" as saying that Apple had been impressed by BMW's carbon-fiber electric cars, and that the two parties were exploring the possibility of cooperating on a passenger vehicle. But a spokesman who spoke to to Reuters stated that BMW is in "regular talks with companies from the IT and telecommunications sector, including Apple, concerning topics like connected vehicles.

"Developing or building a car is not a topic of these discussions," he adds. An Apple representative refused to comment.

In its report, Motor und Sport also claimed that a new car might be sold in Apple outlets but serviced at BMW dealerships. One issue in the talks, allegedly, was whether Apple would be allowed to develop an OS for BMW's i3 electric, something that would require exposing BMW's proprietary software.

Recent weeks have seen growing rumors that Apple is developing a car, prompting reactions from executives in the auto industry. Even if the company is exploring vehicles, however, the company isn't expected to ship one until at least 2020, and it's unclear exactly what kind of features it might have.

It's been speculated that Apple could go electric or make it a self-driving vehicle, following in the footsteps of Google's research efforts.

One of the things fueling the rumors is the mysterious Apple-owned test vans with sensors similar to those on Google's self-driving car prototypes. It's believed, though, that Apple is simply working on advanced mapping data.