Mission Motors CEO blames Apple for his company’s demise

Apple’s “aggressive” recruitment of auto experts as it explores building its own car has led to the demise of an electric motorcycle startup in the dust, its CEO tells 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, the article adds, quoting unnamed “sources close to Mission.” Perhaps it’s time to start the Apple Bike rumors.

“Mission had a great group of engineers, specifically electric drive expertise," CEO Derek Kaufman told Reuters. "Apple knew that - they wanted it, and they went and got it.” He added that Apple recruiters began circling Mission as it was trying to raise a crucial round of funding last autumn, but never tried to purchase the company.

Mission unveiled its R and RS electric super bikes in 2013, which were reported to cost around US$60,000. However, none of the bikes ever reached dealerships or folks wishing to purchase them.

In a note to clients — as noted by FORTUNE  — Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster thinks Apple is working on its own car. However, he doesn't expect it to hit the road for another 5-10 years. 

“If Apple makes a ‘car’ as we know it today, we expect it to be an electric vehicle that is likely priced in the luxury”—as in more than $50,000—”market,” Munster writes. "… A car by Apple may look completely different than what we think of as a typical car today in terms of shape and size.”

The analyst thinks the Apple Car will be entirely electric. He also predicts it will incorporate such signature Apple services and products as Siri, Maps, Apple Music — and perhaps even HomeKit and/or augmented or virtual reality products.