Apple “has put a few hundred employees to work on a secretive project to develop an electric automobile, a person familiar with the matter has said,” Tim Higgins reports for Bloomberg News. “While Apple often tests ideas that don’t get released, the work underscores the company’s long-held desire to play a greater role in the automotive space, which is ripe for more of a merging with users’ digital lives.”

Higgins reports, ““’It makes a ton of sense,’ Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray Cos., said Saturday in an interview. ‘If you would’ve said 10 years ago, ‘Apple is going to be in the car business,’ I think people would’ve said you’re crazy — because it would’ve been crazy — and today it’s a much different company that’s able to tackle these massive addressable markets.’ …He added that he doesn’t think Apple would bring out a car in the next five years.”

Apple’s strengths as a potential automaker include:
1. $178 billion war chest
2. The car is the ultimate mobile device
3. A unique mix of executives with tech and auto experience
4. Worldwide retail network
5. Ability to navigate those global operations

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Washington’s Farewell Address, September 19, 1796