Apple is serious. Seven years after CEO Tim Cook commissioned the secret “Titan” project, the mysterious iCar is now taking shape. According to NewsABC.net research, the Americans poached the longstanding head of chassis development at Porsche to build their own car. Cayenne boss Dr. Manfred Harrer (48) was considered one of the best engineers in the Volkswagen Group.
So far, Apple has left all speculation about alleged car plans uncommented. In the course of FBI investigations against an Apple employee, it was only revealed in 2018 that around 1,800 people were involved in the secret project. Most recently, Hyundai surprisingly announced that it was negotiating a cooperation with Apple and thus boosted its own share price. In the meantime, however, the South Koreans fear that they will simply be degraded to service provider for the tech giant.
In fact, the commitment of a chassis expert is a clear signal that Apple is developing a mobile pedestal for the iCar itself. The spectacular change in personnel from Zuffenhausen to Silicon Valley has been quiet and quiet so far. At the end of last year, Harrer is said to have said goodbye to colleagues without revealing the reason. According to his LinkedIn profile, he is still employed by Porsche. According to reports, the sports car manufacturer insisted on a customary ban before Harrer was allowed to start working for a new employer. When asked by NewsABC.net, the engineer refused to comment.
“The American headhunting is amazing,” says a former VW top manager. “Mr. Harrer was actually a hidden champion. Humanly a very calm guy, without any need for recognition. He is the measure of all things in his field. ”The graduate engineer began his career at Audi, then switched to BMW, where he rose to become a steering expert. In May 2007 he followed the call from Zuffenhausen, where he took over the main department for overall chassis development from 2016. A few months before he left, Porsche boss Oliver Blume promoted him to Cayenne series manager.
But even the huge Volkswagen group could not hold Harrer. From Harrer’s former environment, it is said that he does not go to Apple for the money. So far, the engineer is said to have earned more than 600,000 euros per year at Porsche. But Apple is now certainly making him an income millionaire, industry experts estimate.