The Verge, citing a report in the German paper Handelsblatt, said that BMW cut off talks with Apple last year and that Daimler, the owner of Mercedes-Benz, recently followed suit.
Reports surfaced last year about Apple's ambitions to develop an electric vehicle. The secretive project, codenamed "Titan," included luring talent from automakers and battery producers alike.
Apple, however, produces its tech gadgets through contractors and would certainly have little interest in building a massive auto manufacturing operation from the ground up.
The talks with BMW and Daimler likely centered on a potential partnership to build Apple's cars, but the automakers were reportedly concerned about the access that Apple could have to its data.
Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen-owned Audi are reportedly considering partnerships with Amazon or Microsoft to develop a 3D mapping system for autonomous driving — in part because they are concerned about providing data to self-driving pioneer and fellow Silicon Valley tech titan Google.
Apple, meanwhile, will need to turn elsewhere in order to ship cars by its reported 2019 goal. The Verge noted that Magna, a Canadian contract manufacturer, could be a potential partner.