Apple, Inc.'s AAPL self-driving car project has been a non-starter, and Project Titan, the team which is responsible for its development, has seen a mass exodus of personnel.
Prominent Apple reporter and Bloomberg columnist Mark Gurman in his weekly Power On newsletter broached the possibility of an acquisition that could reinvigorate the company's car project.
Why Canoo Is A Better Fit: Canoo, Inc. GOEV has been struggling, and it sounded out a going-concern warning last week. Although the company has lined up additional funding, it may not be in a position to produce as many vehicles this year as planned,
"Given those struggles, seeking a buyer might be Canoo's best bet," Gurman said.
The columnist noted that Apple's Drive.ai acquisition was done in a similar fashion. Given that Canoo's former chief executive officer Ulrich Kranz is now one of the top executives of the Apple Car project and the team also has some former Canoo engineers, it wouldn't be tough for the two companies to start talking regarding a potential deal, he added.
Canoo-Apple Have Had Earlier Talks: Gurman noted that the two companies had previously discussed ideas, ranging from investment to an acquisition in 2020.
Canoo, Gurman indicated, has developed an underlying car platform that can be applied to different types of vehicles. Apple could be more interested in Canoo's Lifestyle Vehicle, the Apple writer said.
Canoo was hoping to launch its Lifestyle Vehicle, which looks like a minivan but has limousine-like rear seating, at the end of 2022 for under $40,000, Gurman noted. Apple's car project team members suggested that some of their own designs are similar to what Canoo has developed, he added.
Apple Eyeing Canoo's Engineering Talent? Apple may not be too keen on Canoo's underlying technology but would be more interested in acquiring the latter's engineering talent, Gurman said, citing a person close to both companies.
Apple, for its part, is aiming to produce a vehicle with full self-driving capabilities, with no steering wheel or pedals, later this decade, the columnist said. However, the company isn't likely to hit the goal, the Apple writer added, citing people with knowledge of the Apple Car project.
Canoo could help turn Apple's car visions into reality, Gurman said. If Apple is looking to attract talent from the Canoo team, it may have to move quickly, given several key Canoo executives have already jumped ship, he added.
Apple closed Friday's session up 3.19% at $147.11, according to Benzinga Pro data.
Photo: Courtesy of press.canoo.com
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