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At first glance, the forays Apple Inc., Google and other technology giants are making into the world of cars don’t appear to be particularly lucrative.

Building automobiles requires factories, equipment and an army of people to design and assemble large hunks of steel, plastic and glass. That all but guarantees slimmer profits. The world’s top 10 carmakers had an operating margin of just 5.2% in 2020, a fraction of the 34% enjoyed by the tech industry’s leaders, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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