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Volkswagen and Apple Heads Discuss Possible iCar

AP
Thursday, 30 Aug 2007 | 7:36 AM ET

U.S. computer company Apple and German automaker Volkswagen are discussing the possibility of building an "iCar" that would feature products by the producer of the ubiquitous iPod personal music player.

Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs and Volkswagen's chief Martin Winterkorn met several days ago in California and plan to meet for further discussions, said Hans-Gerd Bode, a spokesman for VW.

There are "scores of ideas," but few concrete plans at this point, Bode said.

Market experts estimate that a compact car upgraded with Apple products would be of substantial interest to young target groups, according to German financial magazine Capital.

Apple already works with VW and other automakers to offer an integrated in-car hookup for iPods. A representative of Apple did not immediately return a phone call for comment on the potential "iCar."

Electronics, ranging from satellite navigation machines to cup warmers, are increasingly a selling point for automakers. Ford Motor Co., for instance, will debut this fall an in-car communication and entertainment system developed with Microsoft that will cost $395 as an option.

The system, called Sync, allows drivers, using either voice recognition or steering wheel controls, to listen to their digital music players and have text messages on their cell phones read aloud.

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