Apple investment in Kia feeds speculations about iCar

February 03, 2021 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Apple investment in Kia feeds speculations about iCar
According to reports from news service Bloomberg, Apple has invested $3.6 billion in the Korean car manufacturer Kia. The report substantiates speculations about a planned Apple iCar. These speculations are further fuelled by a personnel report from Germany.

Bloomberg reports, citing Korean media, that Apple and Kia are about to sign a contract to build an electric vehicle. This contract is to be signed on 17 February. The Apple car - which has been rumoured as under the project name “Titan” for many years - is to be built in Kia's factory in the US state of Georgia; production is scheduled to start in 2024. According to Bloomberg, Kia would not confirm the reports in the Korean media.

Only recently, reports had circulated according to which Hyundai is intended as a cooperation partner of Apple. Hyundai is the parent company of Kia. The company did not want to confirm these reports.

Meanwhile, a personnel announcement from Germany could further substantiate the reports about Apple's planned iCar. According to a report in the German magazine Business Insider, the Californian IT company has poached the long-time head of chassis development at Porsche. Manfred Harrer was considered one of the best engineers in the Volkswagen Group and was involved in the development of Porsche's Taycan electric car. Harrer is considered an expert in autonomous driving. Since July 2020, the engineer with a doctorate has been in charge of Porsche's Cayenne SUV series. However: these reports have not been confirmed either; according to his LinkedIn profile , Harrer is still responsible for the Cayenne series as Vice President of Porsche.

The fact that none of the parties confirms the cooperation with Apple is not tantamount to a denial. Apple is known for obliging all its cooperation partners to maintain the strictest secrecy. 

More information (in German): https://www.businessinsider.de/wirtschaft/icar-coup-apple-wirbt-cayenne-chef-manfred-harrer-von-porsche-ab-und-treibt-damit-sein-geheimnisvolles-auto-projekt-titan-voran-b/

 

Related articles:

Reports: Apple, Hyundai in talks about autonomus e-car

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Apple wants to set rules for autonomous car data sharing

Self-driving car: “The mother of all AI projects”


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