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Apple’s ‘car front’ recently attended a global car body conference

tesla bodyAlthough Apple has yet to confirm the existence of “Project Titan,” it seems like every week brings a new clue that the company is indeed working on an electric car. We learned that Sixty Eight Research, a sketchy firm widely believe to be a front for Apple’s effort in the automotive business, recently attended the 17th Global Car Body Benchmarking Conference in Germany. The list of participants included almost every major automotive company from GM to Honda, as well as a lot of important part suppliers like Magna and Alcoa. Earlier this year, reports came out that BMW, a manufacturer presenting at the event, was in talks with Apple to license some technology. Noteworthy, Tesla Motors was one of the rare car body manufacturers not on the list.Screenshot 2015-11-09 14.27.49The conference was organized by the Automotive Circle International, an industry group connecting manufacturers and suppliers with a focus on car body manufacturing, painting and assembly. The annual event was held from October 20 to 22 in Bad Nauheim, Germany.

There has been plenty of speculation about the level of involvement Apple would have with the manufacturing of a vehicle under Project Titan. Some say they could outsource most of it to an established manufacturer in order for the company to only handle the branding, connectivity and overall user experience.

Others speculate that the Cupertino company could use a “Designed in California – Assembled in China” (or elsewhere) strategy similar to its consumer electronic products, while also manufacturing some key components in-house.

The truth is likely somewhere in the spectrum between those two extremes, but if the company is attending conferences about body-in-white, it could be an encouraging sign that Apple will be involved in the design and manufacturing of the steel-bending and fundamental components of the vehicle.

Earlier this year, we learned that Apple added 1,200 employees to the development team of Project Titan. Also, last week we reported on a recent hire hinting at a digital license plate system for the company’s electric car project.

Mark Gurman contributed to this report.

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  1. cseeman - 7 years ago

    As an FCP X user, this can’t be correct. Any car designed by Apple would be wheelless and avoid collisions. Or maybe it would have “connected” wheels which could be slid anywhere along the car chassis as needed. Doors and hoods would be context sensitive.

  2. As a Logic Pro X user, If this car indeed exists, when it comes out, I want to be able to bounce my sessions directly to my car to listen to while I drive.. Yes I know just bounce it to my iCloud drive and play it from there.. but then that kills my whole point.. sigh.. never mind.

  3. sanderdk94 - 7 years ago

    LiquidMetal anyone?

    • gabriel193755 - 7 years ago

      Me. I thought exact the same thing as I read the article. And I was asking myself why Apple didn’t release a LiquidMetal iPhone.

  4. Joe Mecca - 7 years ago

    Can’t wait to see the “Unboxing” – this is one time I’ll be staying home and waiting for UPS.

  5. Steven Reed - 7 years ago

    “Tesla Motors was one of the rare car body manufacturers not on the list”

    So it seem like the picture you used for the article, a Tesla Model S Body, is the one picture you should not have used…

  6. Marklewood at Serenity Lodge - 7 years ago

    It’s like reading a new Sience Fiction novel. Can’t wait to read the ending. Hope it gets written in my lifetime.

  7. “it could be an encouraging sign that Apple will be involved in the design and manufacturing of the steel-bending”. The car won’t be made of steel it will be precision machined 7000 series aluminum (read with a British accent)…


Avatar for Fred Lambert Fred Lambert

Fred is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at Electrek. He sometimes contributes to 9to5mac and 9to5Google.