Apple might or might not be making a full-fledged electric car but the firm is surely doing something in the auto space. Yesterday, the truth about Apple acquiring Tesla Motors was revealed and it was obvious that Apple is not likely to consider buying Tesla. The firm is again in the news about getting into the auto space and it’s all starting to add up.
German, Manager Magazin reported that Apple is in talks with BMW on the chances of using BMW’s i3 EVs as the building block for its own EV project. It was said that Tim Cook and some top execs visited BMW’s i3 production line in Germany.
Apple has not made a statement about the subject of its visit to Germany and its meeting with BMW. BMW has rejected the hints that it is in talks with the iPhone maker about building a car together. A BMW source told CNBC that it holds “regular talks with companies from the telecoms and IT industry, including Apple, about vehicle connectivity topics”… and that making cars are not part of such talks.
Poaching Tesla’s Talent
Despite Apple silence and BMW’s denial, it is obvious that Tim Cook wants the firm in the car space. The Wall Street Journal reports that veteran product design Vice President Steve Zadesky is leading the “car” project. He was reportedly given permission to create a 1,000-person team and poach employees from different parts of the firm.
Last week on Monday, news broke that Apple has hired Doug Betts in another sign of the progress of Apple’s secret car project. Doug Betts was the Senior Vice President of Global Quality for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Before then, Betts has worked at Nissan and Toyota. His LinkedIn profile lists his current position as Operations- Apple Inc.
Before Betts, Apple has been in the crosshairs for poaching Tesla’s talent pool. Some of the key Tesla employees that are now working on Apple’s car project include David Nelson (mechanical engineering manager at Tesla), John Ireland (senior powertrain test engineer at Tesla) and Lauren Ciminera (head recruiter).
Will Apple Make a Car?
The financial constraints of that stops Apple from buying Tesla aside, a Tesla buyout would be smart because Tesla would have saved most of the stress of building a car from scratch. In fact, it would be easier for Apple to buyout Tesla than to buyout BMW.
It doesn’t look as if Apple will build a car any time soon. Nonetheless, the market should expect Apple to unveil the next gen of infotainment, internet connected, navigation/mapping, for major OEM’s in the auto industry in the near term.