The Apple Car project is slowly but surely advancing, as new speculation on the vehicle emerges frequently to confirm that Apple’s going forward with its plans to step into the automotive industry as well.
The latest report comes from German publication Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, who writes that Apple has already set up a research facility in Berlin, Germany with a workforce of approximately 20 employees.
Although you might think that having only 20 workers for such an important project is not enough, then it’s worth mentioning that Apple has reportedly selected the best of the best, as they’re all experienced professionals who were previously employed by top car manufacturers in Germany, including BMW and Mercedes. They have excellent background in hardware, software, and engineering, the source writes without giving any names.
The Berlin facility is specifically supposed to continue Apple’s research operations in the automotive business, but also to pursue with the company’s negotiations for manufacturing deals with carmakers in the region.
It’s not surprising that Apple picked Germany for this new effort, as some of the world’s biggest car manufacturers are headquartered here, including BMW, Mercedes, and Porsche so Apple might be looking at one of these companies not necessarily for production, but for partnerships that would help the project go forward.
The same German publication says that Apple has already joined forces with Magna for the production of the so-called Apple Car, but the source once again provides no names other than “people with knowledge of the matter.” So while this does make sense, it’s better to take everything with a pinch of salt until more information on this emerges.
Magna is an Austrian-based car manufacturer who mostly builds limited-edition vehicles, so it would make sense for the company to be in charge of the production of Apple Car. Apple does not intend to build its vehicle in high volumes, so Magna is believed to have the manufacturing capability to cope with Cupertino’s demands.
As far as the launch of the Apple Car is concerned, there’s a billion rumors out there, with more sources claiming that the company is looking at 2018 to 2020 for a release date. But if today’s report is accurate, then Apple might be advancing faster than anyone expected with this project, and the launch might actually take place as soon as the next year.
As usual, do not expect anything official to come out of Apple given its CIA-like secrecy, so take everything with a healthy pinch of salt.