“Apple Inc’s aggressive recruitment of auto experts as it explores building a car has left a promising, if financially troubled, electric motorcycle startup in the dust,” Julia Love reports for Reuters. “Mission Motors, whose sleek electric bikes drew comparisons to Tesla’s cars, ceased operations in May after losing some of its top engineering talent to Apple, according to sources close to Mission. As tech giants vie to define the future of personal transportation, dangling higher salaries and a more secure future, the defections can be devastating for startups, industry insiders said.”

“Some close to Mission Motors said it had reached a point of no return by last fall, when departures to Apple, and other companies, accelerated after a long struggle to find funding and a sound business model. But former Chief Executive Derek Kaufman thinks the company could have carried on if it had not lost key employees, undermining efforts to raise funding,” Love reports. “‘Mission had a great group of engineers, specifically electric drive expertise,’ Kaufman said. ‘Apple knew that – they wanted it, and they went and got it.'”

“Apple never tried to acquire Mission Motors, Kaufman said. But the engineering team, specializing in hardware and software for electric drive systems, including algorithms for battery charging and cooling, offered Apple a range of expertise to draw from. At least two Mission employees joined Apple in 2012, according to LinkedIn profiles. Over the past year, people with knowledge of Mission estimate about a half dozen engineers moved to Apple,” Love reports. “Other employees also joined companies such as Tesla and Harley-Davidson, but Apple grabbed the largest share, they added.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple plays to win.

SEE ALSO:
Why it’s time for an Apple Car – October 1, 2015
The deeper reason for an Apple Car – September 23, 2015
Volkswagen emissions scandal spotlights need for an Apple Car – September 23, 2015
Morgan Stanley: Apple Car, if true, ‘one of the most important moments in transportation’ – September 22, 2015
Former GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz: Apple Car ‘is going to be a gigantic money pit’ – September 22, 2015
Apple speeds up electric-car efforts, aims for 2019 ‘ship date’ – September 21, 2015
Apple meets California DMV officials to discuss ‘autonomous vehicle’ – September 18, 2015
Documents confirm Apple is building self-driving car, Project Titan further along than many suspect – August 14, 2015
Apple Car development proceeds apace – July 27, 2015
Apple hires veteran Fiat Chrysler auto industry executive – July 20, 2015
What’s up with Carl Icahn’s sudden obsession with the Apple Car? – May 18, 2015
Survey: 77% of hybrid or electric vehicle owners would likely buy an Apple Car – May 13, 2015
Apple’s ‘Project Titan’ could reshape the auto world – February 22, 2015