Apple hires former BMW exec to work on its electric car project

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Apple has reportedly hired Ulrich Kranz, a former BMW vice-president and co-founder of electric startup Canoo, to work on its project to develop an electric car.

The technology giant hired Kranz about a month after he stepped down as the chief executive officer of Canoo. 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.

Bloomberg mentions Kranz as one of Apple’s most significant automotive hires, which is a “clear sign that the iPhone maker is determined to build a self-driving electric car to rival Tesla Inc. and other carmakers”. Kranz will report to Doug Field, who led the development of Tesla’s mass-market Model 3 and now runs Apple’s car project, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss a private matter.

Apple reportedly began developing a vehicle in 2014 but shelved the effort around 2016 to focus on an autonomous platform it could sell to other companies or eventually use itself. Along the way, Apple poached several Tesla executives, who now help head up drive-train engineering, self-driving software and interiors and exteriors.

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