Advertisement

"McLaren is a hungry minnow; Apple is a bloated whale"

Mike Rutherford's not happy about losing the headphone jack from the iPhone, but he's even less impressed by rumours of a McLaren takeover

Mike Opinion McLaren

The hardest job for a manufacturer is the time-consuming and expensive business of finding new customers, then persuading them to open their wallets.  

After that comes the second most important task: retaining clients, ensuring they’re happy, and incentivising them to buy again – and not defect to a rival firm.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Apple CarPlay: all you need to know

Temporarily at least, Apple has lost sight of the above. It’s seriously annoyed this and other hitherto loyal customers, due to its insanely provocative decision to remove headphone sockets from its latest phones.

Telling me I can’t plug a pair of headphones into the new iPhone I’d like to – but now can’t – buy is as lunatic as telling me my next car won’t feature a built-in radio. I’ve written to Apple boss Tim Cook, informing him after spending thousands on Apple products, I’m defecting – unless he lifts his consumer-unfriendly ban on headphone sockets. And for what it’s worth, I’ve also warned Cook that when he inevitably moves into the car game he can forget about his likely ‘plan’ to delete radios and speakers.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Furthermore, I’ve somewhat arrogantly advised him his rumoured buy-out of McLaren is a no-no, not least because the Woking firm is a hungry minnow whereas Apple is a whale bloated by full – for now – order books and bank balances. It needs a mass manufacturer partner, not a tiny (in sales terms) one.

Advertisement - Article continues below

McLaren denies Apple takeover rumours

As the world’s most successful company, Apple makes profits of over $1billion per week, so can afford to wed or take over an independent, high-volume car/engine designer or manufacturer. Preferably one that’s cutting edge, slightly alternative, hugely respected and with an East meets West air about it. 

Honda NSX - front cornering

That company is Honda of Tokyo/Swindon. True, it’s lost it’s way a bit. But it could thrive with financial and retailing assistance from Apple. In turn, the Californian firm that’s a motor industry novice would gain access to the widest range of power units on the planet, plus Honda’s undoubted prowess in the autonomous vehicle field. In Japan in the eighties, it showed me early ‘self-driving’ Hondas that could be called like well behaved pets. I was, and still am, mightily impressed. 

Both parties certainly have their flaws. But a wedding between Apple Honda (AH) – or should it be Honda Apple (HA)? – is my idea of a marriage made in heaven... via Swindon, of course.

Do you think an Apple/Honda partnership would be a good thing? Let us know in the comments below...

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

McLaren cuts a quarter of its workforce
McLaren 650S Spider static
McLaren

McLaren cuts a quarter of its workforce

Supercar maker announces 1,200 redundancies in light of motorsport cancellations and wider coronavirus impact
26 May 2020
New 804bhp £1.4 million McLaren Elva shows off retro livery
McLaren

New 804bhp £1.4 million McLaren Elva shows off retro livery

The new McLaren Elva has been shown off in a retro-inspired livery, while the novel wind deflector system has been explained in a Facebook video
26 Mar 2020
New 2020 McLaren 765LT revealed as latest Longtail model
McLaren 765LT

New 2020 McLaren 765LT revealed as latest Longtail model

The Super Series McLaren 765LT has arrived with its 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine producing 755bhp
4 Mar 2020
New Sports Series McLaren supercar spied testing
McLaren sports series spy - front
McLaren

New Sports Series McLaren supercar spied testing

McLaren will replace its entry-level Sport Series range later this year with hybrid power
7 Feb 2020

Most Popular

New 2020 Ford Puma ST teased for the first time
Ford Puma

New 2020 Ford Puma ST teased for the first time

The sporty new Ford Puma ST will make its debut later this year, with the same 197bhp 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine as the Fiesta ST
3 Jul 2020
New Skoda Octavia vRS line-up completed as petrol and diesel models arrive
Skoda Octavia vRS Hatchback

New Skoda Octavia vRS line-up completed as petrol and diesel models arrive

Skoda has unwrapped the complete Octavia line-up, which now offers a choice of petrol, diesel or plug-in hybrid powertrains
3 Jul 2020
New Vauxhall Corsa-e 2020 review
Vauxhall Corsa-e hatchback

New Vauxhall Corsa-e 2020 review

The all-electric Vauxhall Corsa-e boasts up to 134bhp and a 209-mile range, but rivals offer better value for money
3 Jul 2020