German news outlet Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (also known as F.A.Z), reports that Apple has employed between 15 to 20 “top class” men and women from the German automotive industry, with backgrounds in engineering, hardware, software and sales.
Following numerous rumours that the Cupertino-based tech giant is working on an EV, F.A.Z claims Apple is investigating several distribution options similar to European offerings like BMW’s Drive-Now and European car rental service Sixt.
F.A.Z speculates that while Apple’s first car will be electric, it could lack the self-driving capabilities suggested in previous reports, as the required technology is still in development.
The report also cites Austrian contract manufacturer of high-end cars Magna Steyr as a partner for vehicle creation once the research and development (R&D) is complete.
Rumours surrounding the Apple car have been gaining momentum for some time, with details of a secret project called ‘Titan’ pointing to plans of an EV with autonomous technology in development, along with Apple recently registering the web addresses apple.car, apple.cars and apple.auto.
Above: An Apple car test mule disguised as a Chrysler Grand Voyager
Apple CEO Tim Cook even hinted at the possibility of an Apple Car in February saying: “It’s going to be Christmas Eve for a while”, which suggests that the highly-anticipated project won’t be revealed to the public for a while, despite reports suggesting that the company has set a “ship date” of 2019.