The rumors of Apple building an electric car have been in the cyberspace for quite a while, even before the Cupertino based tech giant hinted it has plans of building one. Subsequently, Apple being Apple, the company have preferred to keep its automobile development under tight wraps. Recent rumors on the internet suggest that a startup car manufacturer, Faraday Future, could just be a very expensive front for Apple’s rumored electric car.
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Rumors Plausible or Not?
The thing about most rumors is that most times, after all is said and done, the end up being just what the were – Rumors. Apple’s case is no different, but as the proverbial lines has it – there is no smoke without fire. Apple’s electric car which is rumored to cost around $55,000 has been in the center of controversies recently, and all the controversial episodes just to back up the latest rumors of Apple inc. using Faraday Future as a front for its Car project.
I earlier reported in my article on the ‘cost of Apple’s electric car’ (linked above) that CEO of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk has publicly chided Apple inc. for trying to poach its engineers. In the report i stated that Apple were allegedly offering massive bonuses and significant salary bumps for those willing to come to work for the Cupertino based company. According to Blomberg reports, Apple has put as much as $250,000 in signing bonuses and 60 percent raises on the table for Tesla engineers it is after. While Faraday Future has revealed in a rather sudden press release that it has a global team of 400 “automotive and technology experts,” along with naming number of key employees which includes key ex-Tesla employees allegedly being poached by Apple.
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The company also revealed in the press release that it is planning a US $1 billion investment in a US, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in either California, Georgia, Louisiana and Nevada. We all know ‘talk is cheap’, but where the auto startup is source financial investment of up to US $1 Billion has led to speculations that financially buoyant Apple may indeed be financing the company.
Nick Sampson, who was the former director of vehicle and chassis engineering for Tesla motors, is now the senior vice president at the compan and seems to be acting as its spokesman too. Other key members of the company has been announced, however, there is one important omission – the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). This has led to further speculations that the company isn’t naming a CEO , because naming a CEO, which is most likely going to be an Apple executive, would give away the ruse and expose the company as a dummy front for manufacturing Apple’s car.
Image credit: Hybridcars.com
Nothing is yet confirmed but the prospect of Apple using a start up to front its Electric car project in my opinion is highly likely. The reason is quite clear, Apple may be ingenious in churning out IPhone’s and its ingenuity with its notebooks almost unparalleled, but building an electric car is a different ball game entirely. Concealing a manufacturing plant for production of cars is quite implausible notwithstanding Apple trademark secretive nature. Even if by some magical means it were to have a manufacturing plant, its quite important to state that building a functional plant doesn’t come easy. Financing may not be an issue for the Cupertino giant but technical capacity will most certainly cause them some serious migraines if it decided to go solo on the ‘electric car project voyage’. Apple definitely needs not just a technical partner but also at least a fairly established manufacturing,distribution and marketing structures to rely on.