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Apple hires BMW veteran for the latest sign of electric car push

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

felixmizioznikov | iStock Editorial | Getty Images

Apple has hired Ulrich Kranz, a former senior executive at 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 carmakers like Tesla.

Hyundai said earlier this year that it was in talks with Apple to manufacture its car before going back with its comments and confirming that it was no longer in discussion. 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, working 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 it ever releases a car.

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

Prior to joining Apple, Kranz co-founded Canoo, which operates a self-driving electric car. At BMW, he led the company’s electric car development program, resulting 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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