Apple Places Hiring Freeze On Electric Car Project Titan

4 months ago by Steven Loveday 28

Apple Car

Apple Car

BMW i3

BMW i3

Apple’s electric automobile project has encountered many roadblocks in recent months, as the company pushes to have the project completed by 2019.

Executives at Apple have placed a hiring freeze on the Project Titan team due to executives’ unhappiness with the group’s progress. A previously reliable source affiliated with the team explained that Apple design chief, Jony Ive, was “displeased” following a recent progress review.

Senior Apple engineer in charge of the project, Steve Zadesky, recently left the company. It is not known if this was due to the freezes in staffing or for “personal reasons.”

Apple recruited engineers from Tesla to take on the project. It is believed that Apple has more than 1,000 people involved in Project Titan.

According to AppleInsider, manufacturing problems have caused Apple to seek a possible partnership with another reputable automaker. Of particular interest to Apple is BMW, and more specifically, the company’s innovative approach to the i3. Apple is thought to have previously communicated with BMW concerning an agreement to use the electric i3 as a manufacturing base. However, BMW seemed hesitant to create such a partnership.

The situation for now seems to be shaky for Apple. Perhaps doing an electric car isn’t as easy as the company thought?

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28 responses to "Apple Places Hiring Freeze On Electric Car Project Titan"

  1. Speculawyer says:

    Not so easy, is it Apple?

    1. kdawg says:

      It’s as easy as apple pie.. oh wait.. no it’s not. LOL

  2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “Apple is thought to have previously communicated with BMW concerning an agreement to use the electric i3 as a manufacturing base. However, BMW seemed hesitant to create such a partnership.”

    This is the first I’ve read of that. That is a much, much more realistic scenario for Apple getting its logo on an actual mass-produced, highway capable EV than previous rumors, which had FoxConn and other electronics manufacturers building cars for them. That’s ignoring reality pretty firmly. GM hired LG Electronics to build EV drivetrains for the Bolt, but GM will be building the rest of the car.

    I can certainly understand the reluctance of BMW, or any other major auto maker, to make cars for Apple. If it’s a good car, why wouldn’t BMW want its own logo on it? If it’s a bad car, why would BMW want to taint its reputation by making such a car?

    Of course, if Apple offers an auto maker enough, they can probably convince them. But then the car would be priced too high to be competitive.

    We’ll have to wait and see if Apple can find a way to thread this needle. Personally, I have my doubts.

  3. Anon says:

    Elon’s said in one of his more snarky comments on the topic; people who couldn’t make it at Tesla– got hired at Apple.

    The other side of the coin, is exactly what kind of unified ‘vision’ Apple Execs are trying to manifest in this project. Executing a ‘Design by committee’, can be a very painful and unfulfilling experience if the base goals are unrealistic or contradictory.

    WWSSD? (What Would Saint Steve Do?)

  4. Alan says:

    I have already stated before that I thought they might buy an existing auto maker to manufacture the car, partnering is also a possibility if you can find a top quality entity willing to ?

    The issue might be finding someone who could churn enough of them out.

  5. ffbj says:

    I guess one of the so called “Tesla Killers” has bitten the dust. Hyperbole thy name is news media, along with politicians, who really are the masters of that device.

    1. Anon says:

      Apple still has more money then God, so I don’t think “bitten the dust” quite fits the situation. Delayed, certainly.

      More money after bad? Apple can play that game with itself for a long time, and maybe get lucky enough to pinch off something that can be mass produced and sold for a profit…

      Exciting times. 🙂

      1. ffbj says:

        True. Though the articles I alluded too were all like: ‘this is going happen real soon’. So maybe someday, something, will come of it.

        1. ffbj says:

          I should have finished that last thought by saying something will come of it, but it won’t be a Tesla killer, and it won’t be anytime soon.
          So I was using the very same device I was condemning, hyperbole, and you called me on it. Good one. Yeah I think 2016 is going to be good for evs.

  6. SJC says:

    Apple can take its time to leverage their investments. You can be first to be second but do well.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Pretty much all of Apple’s big successes were with products where they were not first but came along later and made it really good.

      There were MP3 players before the iPod.
      There were smartphones before the iPhone.
      The mouse and GUI were features stolen from Xerox PARC.

      1. james says:

        FUD: Apple didn’t steal anything, why oh, why does this stupid rumor keep coming up.

        Xerox got paid (and well) for the technology and they even had Apple stock they sold for a huge profit from the original price that they were given.

        Is it Apple’s fault the Xerox decided not to use their original idea and let themselves get paid well (at the time) for the tech viewing?

        If it was ‘stolen’ as the myth repeats so often, why’d they not sue?

  7. Alpha777 says:

    Remember, Tesla had to bring in component production in-house, because his number were so low initially, and he didn’t get the A team from the subcontractors.

    But, Apple would have had to get a BMW base i3 and a great price.
    -Apple would have put on a better looking body, because you couldn’t do worse.
    -Apple would have Teck’ed it out so badly it would have killed i3 sales.

    BMW doesn’t want the risk.
    Apple didn’t get a good price from BMW.
    Apple now finding out they have to match TESLA’s model, and bring in components in house. That means hiring the best suspension guys, safety, if it get’s a gas engine, then EPA regulations…

    1. Alpha777 says:

      That’s my guess.

    2. Unplugged says:

      What established automaker would want to get into bed with a monster that could eat you fro breakfast? Apple knows it will have to go it alone or not go at all.

    3. Jeffhre says:

      They could try working a joint project with Lotus.

  8. Unplugged says:

    Please lose the silly Apple car rendering. Just because some goofball can draw a mouse with wheels doesn’t mean that journalists need to perpetuate the fiction that this car could come close to reality.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Be careful what you wish for. We may start seeing amateurish paintings (or renders) of ridiculous artists’ conceptions, as have been published here for the Tesla Model ≡.

  9. jmac says:

    I never understood why Apple wanted to build a car in the first place. What’s the purpose ? What’s the point ? What’s the motivation for doing this ?

    1. wavelet says:

      Actually, that one’s simple.
      There are simply very few large consumer markets left which don’t have razor-thin markets. Apple litterally ran out of new product areas it can enter.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Good question. I still don’t see Apple building cars. It would be very far outside their business model. Maybe they want to do what LG Electronics & LG Chem have done for the GM Bolt: Build EV powertrains. Or maybe they want to do what Google has done with self-driving cars. Or a combination of the two.

      In any case, just because they have hired hundreds for this project does not, to me, establish that they actually want to build an “iCar”. I can easily believe that a project to produce powertrains, including EV battery packs, might need that large a team.

    3. Jacked Beanstalk says:

      No more Steve Jobs = rudderless Apple.

    4. super390 says:

      They might be thinking along the same lines as Faraday Future, with all this vague stuff about using the car as a way to pimp wireless services. You rent the car by phone, it drives itself to your house, then it drives you around and you pay for wireless entertainment. Then you get stuck in traffic and they really rake in the fees.

  10. Three Electrics says:

    Apple is nothing if not perfectionist. I expect they will ship a superior product, or nothing at all. They should avoid manufacturing if they can. Purchasing Tesla or FF would be a fine plan B if BMW won’t play ball.

  11. pjwood1 says:

    Apple can afford to abort, while oil prices tail spin.

  12. cHUNKYBUNS says:

    Apple will do what apple ALWAYS do. Wait till someone else works out all the problems then copy the basic design, produce to a highly polished slick finish, stick an apple badge on it and say they invented it all. Apple drones will buy them, they will then use the money to sue everyone for the patent infringements arguing that their rectangle with an apple logo was registered years before the detailed design of their predecessors. Parasitic company.

    1. james says:

      Wow, no jealousy there are all…

      Apple claims to have invented what? If they make an idea better and people like it enough to buy it, why is that an insult to you? If you don’t want one, don’t buy it, it’s ok, people won’t judge you. Just because people don’t follow you, doesn’t make them drones; just not you… /sigh

      I actually laugh at calling the (until last week) the largest company (by one measure) as parasitic…

  13. Dragon says:

    I hope this at least means more employees for Tesla. They’ve been struggling to hire as fast as they want to expand. Having Apple offer gigantic bonuses to lure people away wasn’t helping. We need Model 3 here on time and in huge volume, not some expensive Apple car to maybe compete with Model S in 2019.

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