Mark Gurman: Apple should buy struggling electric car startup Canoo

"Imagine an Apple-designed car with a roomy interior, deep integration with other products, and limited autonomous features—on par with a Tesla."

From Gurman's "Power On" column, posted Sunday to Bloomberg Technology ($) subscribers:

In recent months, Apple... hired several people from the auto industry to help ramp up its car development work after top managers left the project. It’s recruited key people from Ford, Rivian, Tesla, BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, Waymo and other brands.

But a potential acquisition target has emerged that could help Apple’s project even more: Canoo.

The EV startup, founded five years ago, has been struggling. Last week, it warned investors that it may not have enough cash to keep operating. Canoo has lined up additional funding, but has also said that it doubts it can produce as many vehicles this year as planned...

It also wouldn’t be too difficult for Apple and Canoo to start talking. Canoo’s former chief executive officer, Ulrich Kranz, is now one of the top executives on Apple’s car project. Apple also has some former Canoo engineers on staff.

For those unfamiliar, the EV startup has developed an underlying car platform that can be applied to different types of vehicles. Its lineup includes a delivery vehicle and a pickup truck. But for Apple’s purposes, Canoo’s most interesting product is its Lifestyle Vehicle... People working on Apple’s car project say some of their own designs are similar to what Canoo has developed.

My take: Knowing Gurman, I suspect he's got wind that something's in the works.

8 Comments

  1. Daniel Epstein said:
    Reporters are always looking for ways to spend Apple’s resources on some other struggling company. Maybe Gurman has a good suggestion this time. Maybe not. If the purchase price would be bigger than Beats acquisition then it would be unlikely.

    1
    May 15, 2022
  2. Fred Stein said:
    Canoo (GOEV) has an enterprise value of $450M. The Market Cap is $670M. It’s trading at $3.20 vs. IPO at $10 and vs. ATH of $20.

    Assuming they own valuable IP and talent, this fits the profile for an Apple acquisition.

    It also fits the profile of a pump and dump rumor.

    12
    May 15, 2022
  3. Dan Pallotta said:
    I personally don’t see it. The exterior is excessively utilitarian and the interior is ugly and unimaginative. I suppose they could benefit from some of the talent there, but other than that, I can’t imagine what Apple could draw from it.

    0
    May 15, 2022
    • David Emery said:
      Well, Apple’s great strengths are in industrial design and system integration. Seems that ‘industrial design’ was lacking for Canoo. It really goes to the value of their IP and their collective talent, particularly on the automotive (versus automation) side of things. So I wouldn’t write this acquisition off out of hand.

      4
      May 15, 2022
  4. Steven Philips said:
    It would put Apple in an ownership position rather than “sharing the wealth” which has been one of the ongoing issues around Apple and cars.
    And nothing says they couldn’t totally revamp the interior and exterior on this platform. My question is how good IS this platform, really?

    0
    May 15, 2022
  5. Kirk DeBernardi said:
    Put this in the “don’t hold your breath” file.

    2
    May 16, 2022
  6. T R said:
    Apr 11, 2022 Canoo talent exodus continues with loss of operations chief
    Excerpt…leadership exits in recent months as it prepares for production.
    – EVP of operations Dean Harlow was fired…months after being hired
    – follows that of Canoo’s purchasing SVP in recent weeks,
    – David Arft, who oversees electrical integration… is readying to leave
    – its manufacturing VP, Frank Faga,
    – and investor relations VP, Kamal Hamid
    …has hemorrhaged leadership for over a year, with founding members, executives, and others leaving their posts amid company shareholder suits, a sinking stock price, and a surprising headquarters move from California to Arkansas.

    0
    May 16, 2022
  7. Should I sell my Hennessey Venom GT and buy shares in GOEV? While I jest I cannot forget how much I made when I invested in DirecTV the moment a whiff of the AT&T purchase hit the breezes. Wouldn’t touch Twitter shares but takeovers and buyouts have the potential to be highly profitable.
    Apple would be looking closely at the synergies and talents Canoo offers. The purchase of Beats has been criticized by some but look at the foot in the door Apple got in the entertainment industry and LA.
    Canoo designs caught my attention from the start. Their particular skateboard chassis for EVs is fascinating to me.

    0
    May 16, 2022

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