The Apple Car rumor mill has been heating up today with reports that Apple has been hiring auto talent from companies like Mercedes and BMW. Now the Wall Street Journal is chiming in with its own report that claims Tim Cook approved Apple’s project over a year ago.
Apple reportedly has several hundred employees working on the secret project that’s aiming to create an Apple-branded electric vehicle that can take on Telsa.
Speculation of the Apple car project ramped up last week when mysterious Apple vans were spotted in Brooklyn, San Francisco and Hawaii. The electric car project is supposedly code-named “Titan” and the initial design looks like some sort of mini-van, according to WSJ’s sources.
Tim Cook has allegedly tapped VP Steve Zadesky to lead the project and has given him permission to create a 1,000-person team and to poach employees from different parts of Apple. It’s also interesting to note that the project started around the time Elon Musk confirmed Apple and Tesla had been in talks.
While Apple doesn’t have any experience manufacturing cars, employees on the project have visited contract manufacturers in recent months that could build a car on Apple’s behalf. The WSJ specifically names Magna Steyr as one suitor which has already made cars for BMW and Mercedes in the past.
Just because Apple has a team building an electric car doesn’t necessarily means the company plans to launch one any year soon. Phil Schiller once admitted that Apple looked into building a car before it looked into smartphones, however there’s big difference between making iPhones and pumping out mini-vans.