Apple Car Project Might Seek Canoo’s Engineering Talent, But Not Tech: Report

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Electric vehicle startup Canoo announced its Q1 earnings last week, and it was not a good one. The Justin, Texas-based company said it is bleeding cash and may not be able to continue.

“Due to the timing of our announced funding, and the 2014 FASB accounting rule, as of the date of this announcement, we are reporting that there is substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern,” admitted Canoo.

Now, according to Bloomberg’s latest Power On newsletter on Sunday, the Apple Car project may benefit from the turmoil happening at Canoo.

Apple has been ramping up its vehicle efforts, acquiring Drive.ai back in 2019 for its autonomous tech, while also hiring numerous executives and engineers from traditional automakers.

Bloomberg says any deal Apple might make for Canoo would result in the iPhone maker seeking the latter’s engineering talent, but not its vehicle tech.

Former Canoo CEO Ulrich Kranz is already a top executive on the Apple Car project, while the latter also has former Canoo engineers on staff as well. Back in 2020, Apple and Canoo were in talks for an acquisition deal, but nothing materialized.

Sources familiar with the Apple Car project tell Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman the latter designs are similar to Canoo’s ideas. Canoo is offering a Lifestyle Vehicle that is said to debut at the end of this year for $40,000 USD, essentially a minivan with limo-style seating. It’s unclear if the project will ever hit mass production.

Apple’s vehicle project is said to be self-driving and lack a steering wheel and pedals, and is slated to make its debut sometime this decade. Sources familiar with “Project Titan” say it’s unlikely Apple will meet its timeline.

Numerous key Canoo executives have already left the company so Apple may need to move quickly if it wishes to acquire engineering talent from the startup for its own vehicle ambitions.

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