Apple Operating Vehicle R&D in Berlin, May Contract BMW/Mini Manufacturer Magna
German news outlet Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (via Business Insider) says Apple is operating a clandestine research and development centre in the middle of Berlin. Citing “informed sources”, the news outlet reports that Apple has hired 15–20 “top class” engineers, and software and sales staff, all from the German automotive industry.
The sources described the employees as “progressive thinkers”, and that they have switched to Apple because of the more conservative approach of their previous employers.
Besides repeating information already spilled by the rumour mill, the report also notes that Apple could be looking at Vienna, Austria, to build its rumoured Apple Car. To build the vehicle in Vienna, Apple will allegedly team up with vehicle engineering and contract manufacturing firm Magna who is responsible for producing BMW and Mini vehicles.
FAZ also claims that Apple is considering a vehicle-sharing model, similar to BMW’s Drive-Now, and Sixt, a European car rental service.
Apple Car rumours have been around for some while now and mainly gained traction in early 2015 when Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple had hundreds of engineers working on an electric vehicle. The project was codenamed “Project Titan”, and, as you may recall, a report from last week claims Apple has named several buildings in Silicon Valley where the Car team is working after figures from Greek mythology.