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Apple plans to launch its first electric car in 2019
According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple has laid out plans to deliver its first electric car in 2019. Bloomberg previously reported that Apple's electric car could be delivered by 2020. Apple has reportedly hired automotive engineers and executives for its Titan car development project, and has empowered its leaders to expand the 600-person team to 1,800. Despite reports that Apple has hired experts in the autonomous driving field, the first car won't be fully autonomous. Apple's car ambitions were first revealed in February, and news about the product has been breaking frequently since then. Apple, the world's most valuable company, has been recruiting auto industry veterans for the project all year, poaching talent from battery maker A123 Systems, automaker Fiat Chrysler and others. Bloomberg reported earlier this year that the company could officially launch a car as early as 2020.
According to Reuters, Apple executives visited BMW's German I3 manufacturing plant in 2014, but no deal was reached. Last month Apple sought a venue to test self-driving cars.
An Apple spokesman declined to comment. There are many unanswered questions about Apple's car-related plans. It is unclear, for example, whether Apple has found a manufacturing partner to do contract manufacturing, like foxconn, the company's smartphone manufacturing partner.
Most major automakers build and operate their own factories, but in Apple's case, that's not the case with its iPhone or iPad manufacturing strategy. Under normal circumstances, OEM production in the automotive industry is limited to a few models for market segments.