Reportedly, Apple Inc. (AAPL) has hired a former senior executive at BMW AG’s electric car division, Ulrich Kranz to help lead its own vehicle efforts. Kranz formerly served as chief executive officer of Canoo Inc., a developer of self-driving electric vehicles. Before co-founding Canoo, Kranz was senior vice president of the group that developed the i3 and i8 cars at BMW, where he worked for 30 years. Kranz will report to Doug Field, who previously led the development of Tesla’s mass-market Model 3 and now runs Apple’s car project.
Kranz’s hire is a clear sign that the iPhone maker is determined to build a self-driving electric car to rival Tesla Inc. and other carmakers. The iPhone maker initiated its vehicle plan in 2014 but suspended the efforts in 2016 to focus on an autonomous platform that it could sell to other companies and then use itself. It restarted its efforts to develop an electric car several months ago, but since the development is in the early stages, so a launch is likely to take at least five years. Before hiring Kranz, Apple lost some key auto executives. Benjamin Lyon (engineering), Jaime (safety systems), and Dave Scott (robotics), all departed in recent months.
Kranz left BMW in 2016 and became chief technology officer at an electric vehicle startup, Faraday Future, based in Los Angeles. He stayed with Faraday Future for only three months, before co-founding Canoo. Canoo went public in December after a reverse merger with a special purpose acquisition company, called Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp.
Dow 30 component Apple (AAPL) has revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. Apple’s four software platforms — iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS — provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, and iCloud. Apple’s more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to “leaving the world better than they found it. To learn more about Apple (AAPL) and track its ongoing progress at Vista Partners Apple (AAPL), Coverage Page.
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