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Morgan Stanley says Apple discontinuing its electric car project is 'a positive development'

Published 27/02/2024, 22:12
Updated 28/02/2024, 12:26
© Reuters.
(Updated - February 28, 2024 6:23 AM EST)

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) reportedly halted the development of its much-anticipated electric vehicle (EV), a move that comes ten years after the initiation of the project known as Project Titan, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday.

The tech giant disclosed the decision internally on Tuesday, surprising the nearly 2,000 employees involved, according to Bloomberg.

The discontinuation of the project was announced internally by COO Jeff Williams and Vice President Kevin Lynch.

Following this decision, a significant number of the project's team, known as the Special Projects Group (SPG), will be redirected to Apple's artificial intelligence (AI) division under executive John Giannandrea, focusing on generative AI projects.

The broader EV industry has been recently grappling with challenges such as high interest rates, which have dampened consumer interest in the typically more expensive cars. This has led to a scaling back of production and workforce reductions across the sector.

Project Titan had been a significant part of Apple's exploration into the automotive industry, particularly focusing on autonomous driving technology.

Despite ambitious plans announced around 2020 to potentially launch a vehicle by 2024 or 2025, the project faced numerous obstacles, including disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic and a strategic overhaul in 2019 that resulted in the layoff of 190 workers from the team.

Morgan Stanley analysts said the news, if true, "would be a positive development."

Such move "should allow the company to repurpose assets towards more important initiatives like Gen AI," analysts added. Moreover, the actions would also show "relative cost discipline" by Apple's management.

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