Apple hires BMW veteran in latest sign of electric car push

Apple hires BMW veteran in latest sign of electric car push

This photo, taken in March 2019, shows Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.

felixmizioznikov | iStock Editorial | Getty Images

Apple has hired Ulrich Kranz, a former senior BMW executive specializing in electric cars, Apple confirmed to CNBC’s Phil LeBeau on Thursday.

The rental is the latest sign that Apple is seriously considering building an electric car to compete with automakers such as You’re here.

Hyundai said earlier this year that it was in talks with Apple to manufacture its car before going back on its comments and confirming it was is no longer in discussion. Apple’s automotive project has been restructured several times, most recently in early 2019.

Apple never confirmed that it was building a car, but hired talent from the auto industry and tested autonomous driving software in California. In 2018, Apple hired Doug Field from Tesla, who worked on Tesla’s Model 3. With its expertise in supply chains, battery technology, and user experience, Apple would be a major competitor to existing automakers if it ever released a car.

Apple hasn’t said whether Kranz will be working on Apple’s car project, which is called Special Projects Group or SPG. But Kranz has extensive experience building teams focused on electric cars.

Prior to joining Apple, Kranz was a co-founder of Canoo, which works on an autonomous electric car. At BMW, he led the company’s electric car development program, which resulted in the i3 electric vehicle and a hybrid sports car called the i8, according to Bloomberg, who first reported the hiring.

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