Project Titan, Appleâ€™s hundreds-strong initiative to create a next-generation electric car, is continuing to ramp up.
Word has it that Cupertino has just hired one of the industryâ€™s veteran manufacturing executives to help push the so-called Apple car to market.
Doug Betts, previously the senior vice president of Chrysler Group, has been snatched up by Apple, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Previously, Betts was global head of operations of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, leading product service and quality.
Although there is no official confirmation of Bettsâ€™ role within Apple, Paul Furgale, an autonomous vehicle researcher, and is also seeking out other employees with robotics experience for the project â€¦ implying that Project Titan, as sometimes rumored, is looking to go head-to-head with Googleâ€™s autonomous-car initiative.
Whatever the truth, weâ€™ll have to wait and see. It seems clear Apple is making a push into automobiles, but in what fashion is still a mystery. Itâ€™s likely to remain so for quite some time: Rumors have it the Apple Car wonâ€™t be revealed until 2020.
Apple has hundreds of employees working on electric car project
The Apple Car rumor mill has been heating up today with reports that Apple has been hiring auto talent from companies like Mercedes and BMW. Now the Wall Street Journal is chiming in with its own report that claims Tim Cook approved Appleâ€™s project over a year ago.
Apple reportedly has several hundred employees working on the secret project thatâ€™s aiming to create an Apple-branded electric vehicle that can take on Telsa.
Speculation of the Apple car project ramped up last week when mysterious Apple vans were spotted in Brooklyn, San Francisco and Hawaii. The electric car project is supposedly code-named â€œTitanâ€ and the initial design looks like some sort of mini-van, according to WSJâ€™s sources.
Tim Cook has allegedly tapped VP Steve Zadesky to lead the project and has given him permission to create a 1,000-person team and to poach employees from different parts of Apple. Itâ€™s also interesting to note that the project started around the time Elon Musk confirmed Apple and Tesla had been in talks.
While Apple doesnâ€™t have any experience manufacturing cars, employees on the project have visited contract manufacturers in recent months that could build a car on Appleâ€™s behalf. The WSJ specifically names Magna Steyr as one suitor which has already made cars for BMW and Mercedes in the past.
Just because Apple has a team building an electric car doesnâ€™t necessarily means the company plans to launch one any year soon. Phil Schiller once admitted that Apple looked into building a car before it looked into smartphones, however thereâ€™s big difference between making iPhones and pumping out mini-vans.
Source: The Wall Street Journal