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Why Apple's car project pissed off this battery maker

Last week, a report claimed that Apple was working on an electric car. Since the announcement a number of new details about the supposed car have surfaced to provide further evidence that a car from t

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Last week, a report claimed that Apple was working on an electric car. Since the announcement a number of new details about the supposed car have surfaced to provide further evidence that a car from the Cupertino, California-based company in on the way. The latest hint, however, comes riddled in a form of a lawsuit.

A123 Systems, a lithium-ion battery maker for electric cars and other business sectors is suing Apple Inc for trying to hire its employees. The battery company says that the Cupertino-based company has been on an “aggressive campaign to poach employees.”

This isn’t the first time Apple has been caught trying to lure in employees from an automaker or its component maker company. A report from last week claimed that the company was hiring employees from Tesla as well. “Apple tries very hard to recruit from Tesla,” Elon Musk, Tesla co-founder and chief executive officer had said. “But so far they’ve actually recruited very few people.”

Another report had claimed that the company was in talks with several automakers for high-end cars and was also studying autonomous self-driving. The company has also reportedly made several hires and repositioning inside the campus.

Australian designer Marc Newson — who have previously designed concept for Ford — is working on the car project codenamed “Titan.” He is joined by former Ford engineer and current Apple product design VP Steve Zadesky. The company also hired Johann Jungwirth, the head of Mercedes-Benz’s Silicon Valley research and development unit.

As for the suit, the A123 claims that five of its employees have either been hired by Apple or are in the process of hiring. The company, which was founded in 2001 and employees 2,000 people, filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012.

  • Published Date: February 19, 2015 3:47 PM IST