Why is Apple hiring automotive engineers in China?

Earlier this week we talked about the possibility of Apple entering other markets to keep up its ridiculous growth pace. There’s only so far the company’s current iPhone and iPad products can take it before sales start to plateau.

When we mentioned the idea, we had no clue that the automotive industry was on Apple’s list of potential new markets. But according to a recent job listing, the Mac-makers are in search of an automotive engineer for an undisclosed project…

The posting was filed two weeks ago under LinkedIn’s Automotive section and calls for a ‘new Product Integration supervisor’ with experience in CNC machines and die casting/stamping.

Here’s the text from the original job listing:

 “Apple (China) Looking for SQE/NPI with over 4 years Mechanical engineering background familiar with CNC/die casting/stamping/plastic injection, can use APQP/PPAP/SPC to control product quality.”

So does this mean Apple is building an iCar? No. Chances are, if the job listing is legitimate, the company is once again working on deeper vehicle console/dashboard integration. As you may recall, Steve Jobs met with Volkswagen back in 2007 over a similar project.

But given the rising popularity of Apple’s mobile products, and brand name in general, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the company partner up with auto-makers in the near future to take in-car integration to new heights.

Of course, with nearly $100 billion dollars in the bank, Apple could totally be building its own car.

What do you think? Would you like to see Apple enter the automotive space?

[Jalopnik] [Image via retrevo]