Apple Hires Canoo Startup Cofounder For Its Car Program

A former BMW executive, Ulrich Kranz just left the startup he cofounded in April

Canoo’s very pod-like EV pictured, looking very soft and rounded as an Apple-era tech product does.
Canoo’s very pod-like EV pictured, looking very soft and rounded as an Apple-era tech product does.
Image: Canoo

Apple is still trying to make a car. Rumors about the tech giants’ automotive exploits have been swirling around for years, with talks of autonomy to an EV to a partnership with Hyundai that eventually fell through. The company is still hiring, though. As recently as last week, a report from Cnet said that executives were leaving the company’s autonomous car program. To make up for that, Autoblog reports that Apple has hired Ulrich Kranz.

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Photo of Ulrich Kranz from 2014 when he was still with BMW
Photo of Ulrich Kranz from 2014 when he was still with BMW
Image: BMW

If you’re unfamiliar with Kranz, he has a long resume: He worked at BMW for over 30 years and was the head of the team that developed what would eventually become BMW’s i line of EVs, specifically the i3 and i8. He left BMW to be the chief technology officer at Faraday Future, but had a very public falling out along with Stefan Krause, also at Faraday at the time. Kranz and Krause went on to cofound Canoo and Kranz ended up leaving that company back in April.

Why would Apple hire a man who just left the company he co-founded two months ago? It’s possibly a sign that Apple is getting serious about its car program. Bringing in industry veterans with the know-how to make things happen could mean its program is ramping up. But Kranz has been an executive and founder at two troubled EV startups. Faraday’s troubles are well documented. Canoo’s are just beginning with a series of high profile exits, including Kranz himself, along with an announcement of an SEC investigation mere hours after the company announced pricing for its minibus EV regarding its $2.4 billion merger. Any normal person would struggle to get a job with a resume like this. Hopefully, Apple knows whats it’s doing.

Staff Writer at Jalopnik. Dad. Lover of all things with 4 wheels. Weird interest in buses.

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This is a good hire, he looks smart.