Apple Nabs Porsche Cayenne Boss for Mysterious Car Project

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Manfred Harrer standing next to a Porsche Taycan

Manfred Harrer presenting the Porsche Taycan in 2019. Image credit: Porsche

Apple has hired a chassis expert, Manfred Harrer, from Volkswagen-owned sports car brand Porsche to work on its own secretive car program, codenamed Project Titan, per Business Insider Deutschland.

Harrer has served as the VP in charge of Porsche’s Cayenne product line and will help the tech giant build its own car, according to a source cited by BI Deutschland.

Harrer is a longtime Porsche employee who initially joined the company in 2007. While with the luxury sports car brand he worked his way up from his first post as a manager of steering systems and wheels to occupy the top spot in the vehicle maker’s chassis department and oversee the company’s SUV product line. Before joining Porsche, Harrer held management positions at BMW and worked as a test engineer at Audi.

Project Titan was commissioned seven years ago by Apple CEO Tim Cook himself, but not much is known about the endeavor beyond its focus on car tech, including self-driving systems, and that only around 5,000 of Apple's 135,000 employees have direct knowledge of the program as of 2018.

The addition of Harrer signals Apple could be designing its own car from the ground up. Last month, Hyundai acknowledged that it was in early-stage negotiations over a potential contract to make an electric car with the Cupertino-based tech titan. Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple will likely to use Hyundai's E-GMP Battery Electric Platform for its car which is set to be marketed as a high-end vehicle, per AppleInsider.


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