BMW, Audi + Daimler Benz Cough Up $3.8 Billion To Buy Nokia Mapping Business

Written by David Richards     04/08/2015 | 07:20 | Category: NAVIGATION

Luxury car makers Audi, Daimler Benz and BMW have teamed up to collectively spend over $3.8 Billion buying up Nokia's mapping business.

BMW, Audi + Daimler Benz Cough Up $3.8 Billion To Buy Nokia Mapping Business
The group has made the investment as part of a longer term strategy built around the development of driverless cars. 

"High-precision digital maps are a crucial component of the mobility of the future," said Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of Daimler.

The car makers plan to use Here's technology to combine precise digital maps with real-time vehicle data.

"For the automotive industry, this is the basis for new assistance systems and ultimately fully autonomous driving," the automakers said in a statement.

The rival automakers each plan to hold an equal stake in the new Company..

The company said vehicle manufacturers are sharing data to make real-time map updates a reality.

"No single carmaker can do it by themselves," Here said on its website.

"The new ownership structure of Here will allow us to accelerate our strategy, further scale our business and fulfill our intent to become the leading location cloud company across industries," said Here president Sean Fernback in a statement.

For Nokia, the sale marks another step in its plan to refocus its business.

Earlier this year, Nokia agreed to buy French rival, Alcatel-Lucent, in a $9.6bn deal.

"With this step we complete the latest stage of Nokia's transformation," said Rajeev Suri, chief executive officer of Nokia.

"Going forward, we will focus on our planned combination with Alcatel-Lucent," he added. "Once that is complete, Nokia will be a renewed company, with a world-leading network technology and services business, as well as the licensing and innovation engine of Nokia Technologies."

Apple iCar 

Rumours of an Apple iCar have been circulating for over a year.

Now the latest whispers suggest Apple may base its fabled electric vehicle on BMW's i3 model.

And the German source claims the tech giant's first car could be built, sold and serviced by BMW.

The latest rumour about the iCar suggests Apple may base its fabled electric vehicle on BMW's i3 model (pictured). The German source claims the tech giant's first car could be built, sold and serviced by BMW.

The latest rumour about the iCar suggests Apple may base its fabled electric vehicle on BMW's i3 model (pictured). The German source claims the tech giant's first car could be built, sold and serviced by BMW
The two companies are said to be close to an official agreement, having attempted to ink a deal last year, Manager Magazine reported. 

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook went to BMW's headquarters last year and senior Apple executives toured the carmaker's Leipzig factory to learn how it manufactures the i3 electric car, two sources familiar with the talks told Reuters.



During the visit, Apple executives asked BMW board members detailed questions about tooling and production and BMW executives signaled readiness to license parts, one of the sources said.