Editor’s Note: We covered rumors back in 2013 that Samsung might have plans to produce electric cars. The rumors seem to have finally been confirmed. We’ll keep you updated on where this leads.
Apple and Samsung are like star-crossed lovers, chasing each other through time and space but never able to resolve their differences. Samsung has proved to be a worthy adversary in the battle for smartphone customers. The two have pursued each other in various court battles, accusing each other of patent infringement and all sorts of underhanded business tactics up to and including mopery on the high seas.
With Apple’s desire to build an electric car “the worst kept secret in history,” according to Elon Musk, Samsung now says it is thinking of jumping into the electric car fray itself. That comes straight from the lips of Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae Yong. Samsung is rumored to be in talks with Fiat to purchase its electronics division, Magneti Marelli.
But if Samsung is just getting into the game now, it has a lot of ground to make up. Apple has been pursuing its “Project Titan” vision for at least 3 years already. News that super-engineer Bob Mansfield has come out of retirement to head up Apple’s 1,800 strong project team only confirms its commitment to its electric car endeavor. Mansfield is the man who spearheaded the design and development of the Macbook Air laptop computer, the iMac desktop computer, and the iPad tablet.
Samsung’s plans are hazy at the moment, but this will not be the first time it has stuck its toe in the automobile manufacturing waters. In 1994, it formed a partnership with Nissan to launch Samsung Motors. At the time, it boasted that it wanted to be the largest car company in the world. Things didn’t exactly turn out as planned.
Samsung ended up selling 70% of its stake to Renault, which renamed the company Renault Samsung Motors. That company is still in business today selling small cars in the Asian market. But that tie-in between Samsung and Renault is still there. It could be just the entré Samsung needs to get itself back into the car business.