Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has hired Ulrich Kranz, a former executive of Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft or BMW (OTC: BMWYY), to help lead the work on its own electric car project, Bloomberg reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.
What Happened: Kranz was hired by Apple recently after he stepped down as a chief executive officer of Canoo Inc. (NASDAQ: GOEV), a developer of self-driving vehicles, according to the report, which said an Apple spokesperson confirmed the move.
Before co-founding Canoo, Kranz was reportedly senior vice president of the group that developed the all-electric i3 hatchback and i8 hybrid sports car at BMW, where he worked for 30 years.
Kranz will report to Doug Field, who runs the Apple Car project and previously led the development of Tesla Inc.’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) mass-market Model 3.
Why It Matters: The Apple Car project was in incubation for a while, but rumors about Apple accelerating its efforts on the project have been floating around since last year.
Several potential partners were reported, but Apple has remained tightlipped about its foray into the crowded EV field. Over time, rumors also suggested Apple has scaled down its plan to build a full-fledged car and is now looking at developing an underlying self-driving car system.
Price Action: Apple shares closed 0.8% lower in Thursday’s regular trading session at $126.11, but added 0.1% in the after-hours session to $126.28.
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