Google's postings show it wants manufacturing expertise amid speculation it wants to build its own cars. Fred Katayama reports.
Google has said it doesn't want to build self-driving cars, but its actions seem to differ. The unit of parent company Alphabet has posted 36 jobs related to that project. The listings for engineers and managers show it's looking for manufacturing expertise. The description for a manufacturing process engineer says the person would be responsible for "designing factory assembly stations, optimizing production floor layout, automating critical manufacturing processes ..." The manufacturing supplier quality engineer it plans to hire will create and approve "manufacturing inspection processes, equipment, tools, gauges and fixtures for raw material, mechanical components and mechanical assemblies." Last fall, Google hired as head of its car project a former CEO of Hyundai Motor America with experience in product development at Ford. That fueled speculation that Google planned to build its own cars. Mark Stevens, project manager at the Center for Automotive Research, says the ads show that Google is scaling up but looking at low volume. "They're looking for people that know sealants, adhesives and equipment that can be applied in assembly. That's not super high volume." One sign Google may further expand: it's looking for a head of real estate and workplace services.