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.
"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."
Kaufman told Reuters that Apple began eyeing Mission as it was trying to raise an important round of funding last fall. One investor who had committed to the round pulled out after two key engineers left for Apple. In the months after, more employees left to Apple.
In a similar situation, A123 Systems sued Apple for poaching its top engineers and forcing it to abandon key projects. The two companies settled but the terms of the settlement have to yet to be disclosed.
Apple has reportedly upgraded its electric car to a 'committed project' giving it a target ship date of 2019. You can follow iClarified on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or RSS for updates.