Apple Loses Another Key Car Engineer

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Electric air taxi start-up Archer Aviation Inc. roped in Apple Special Projects Group engineering director Michael Schwekutsch as its SVP engineering, CNBC reported on Wednesday. Schwekutsch will lead the Archer’s battery and electric motor development efforts.

Former Apple’s VP of special projects, Doug Field, left in September to lead Ford Motor’s (F) emerging technology efforts.

Archer is working on electric-powered air taxis that take off and land vertically.

Archer aims to transport passengers on short trips, avoiding traffic on the ground and the noise and emissions generated by conventional fuel-burning aircraft and cars.

Archer aims to operate urban air mobility services starting in Los Angeles.

Archer has already developed a model, Maker, that can carry one passenger and a pilot and is working on a four-passenger model.

Analyst Rating

Recently, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Andres Sheppard initiated coverage of Archer with an Overweight rating and a $14 price target, implying a 130.3 percent upside.

Archer is developing electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft that will serve as an alternative ride-sharing mode of transport for passengers traveling within cities in the United States.

The analyst says the company benefits from an “innovative and disruptive” business model, “strong” partnerships, first-mover advantage, high barriers to entry, and an attractive valuation following the recent share price underperformance.

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