This picture, taken in March 2019, reveals Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.

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Apple has employed Ulrich Kranz, a former senior government at BMW who centered on electrical vehicles, Apple confirmed to CNBC’s Phil LeBeau on Thursday.

The rent is the newest signal that Apple is critical about constructing an electrical automotive to compete with automakers reminiscent of Tesla.

Hyundai mentioned earlier this 12 months it was in talks with Apple to fabricate its automotive earlier than strolling its feedback again and confirming it was no longer in discussions.

Apple has by no means confirmed it’s constructing a automotive however has employed expertise from the automotive business and examined self-driving software program in California. In 2018, Apple hired Doug Field from Tesla, who labored on Tesla’s Mannequin 3. With its experience in provide chains, battery know-how and consumer expertise, Apple would symbolize a significant competitor to present automakers if it ever releases a automotive. Apple’s automotive mission has been restructured a number of occasions, most recently in early 2019.

Apple didn’t say whether or not Kranz will work on Apple’s automotive mission, which is known as Particular Initiatives Group or SPG. However Kranz has in depth expertise constructing groups centered on electrical vehicles.

Earlier than becoming a member of Apple, Kranz was a co-founder of Canoo, which is engaged on a self-driving electrical automotive. At BMW, he led the corporate’s electrical automotive improvement program, which resulted within the electrical i3 automobile and a hybrid sports activities automotive referred to as the i8, in line with Bloomberg, which first reported the hire.

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