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Apple reportedly in discussions to buy sports car manufacturer McLaren

Reports are circulating that Apple is in the midst of conversations to buy some aspects of the McLaren Technology Group, specifically, the division that is known for hand-crafted luxury high-performance sports cars to supplement the Apple Car project.

According to testimonials from "three people briefed on the negotiations" the Financial Times is claiming that Apple started negotiations to purchase McLaren for between £1 billion and £1.5 billion ($1.3 billion to $2 billion). Discussions have reportedly been ongoing for months.

McLaren is known for custom luxury sports car builds, and runs an advanced technologies group that feeds designs to its own Formula One racing team. The company built 1654 vehicles in 2015, and generated £450m ($585 million) in revenue from the sales.

At this time it is not clear if Apple is seeking to buy just the automotive division from the group, or the entire group.

McLaren Automotive is headquartered in the McLaren Production Centre at the McLaren Technology Campus in Woking, Surrey. All of its products are built by hand, with little or no automation involved in the process.

The existence of Apple's automotive project dubbed "Project Titan" was first sussed out early last year. Soon after, AppleInsider discovered the automotive project was being run out of a top-secret facility in Sunnyvale, Calif.

The Titan team was at one time said to number above 1,000, including workers pulled in from other departments and specialists poached from automotive industry heavyweights.

In early September, Apple was said to have laid off dozens of workers from the as-yet unannounced Apple Car project. The layoffs were said to be because of a shift away from a whole-car approach, and towards a more specific software and control focus.