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Apple hires BMW veteran at last sign of electric car pressure

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

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

The rent is the latest sign that Apple is serious about building an electric car to compete with car manufacturers such as Tesla.

Hyundai said earlier this year that it was in talks with Apple about producing its car before returning with the comments and confirmed that it was no longer in discussions. Apple̵

7;s car project has been restructured several times, most recently in early 2019.

Apple has never confirmed that they are building a car, but has hired talent from the automotive industry and tested self-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 represent a major competitor to existing automakers if they ever release a car.

Apple did not say whether Kranz will work on Apple’s car project, called the Special Projects Group or SPG. But Kranz has extensive experience in building teams with a focus on electric cars.

Before joining Apple, Kranz was a co-founder of Canoo, which works with a self-driving electric car. At BMW, he led the company’s development program for electric cars, which resulted in the electric i3 vehicle and a hybrid sports car called the i8, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the rent.

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