Apple’s project ‘Titan’ gears up to challenge Tesla in electric cars

“Apple Inc. has revolutionized music and phones. Now it is aiming at a much bigger target: automobiles,” Daisuke Wakabayashi and Mike Ramsey report for The Wall Street Journal.

“The Cupertino, Calif., company has several hundred employees working secretly toward creating an Apple-branded electric vehicle, according to people familiar with the matter. The project, code-named ‘Titan,’ initially is working on the design of a vehicle that resembles a minivan, one of the people said,” Wakabayashi and Ramsey report. “Apple often investigates technologies and potential products, going as far as building multiple prototypes for some things that it won’t ever sell. Any car would take several years to complete and obtain safety certifications.”

“But the size of the project team and the senior people involved indicate that the company is serious, these people said. Apple executives have flown to Austria to meet with contract manufacturers for high-end cars including the Magna Steyr unit of Canadian auto supplier Magna International Inc.,” Wakabayashi and Ramsey report. “Apple hopes to put its stamp on the electric vehicle market in the same way it did the smartphone with its iPhone, said a person familiar with its work.”

“Mr. Cook approved the car project almost a year ago and assigned veteran product design Vice President Steve Zadesky to lead the group, the people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Zadesky is a former Ford engineer who helped lead the Apple teams that created the iPod and iPhone,” Wakabayashi and Ramsey report. “In September, Apple hired Johann Jungwirth, who had been the president and chief executive of Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America, which has operations in Sunnyvale, Calif., near Apple’s campus, according to his LinkedIn profile.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Forget Tesla, here’s some advice for the entire automobile industry: Cower in fear.

But, first, give us some quotes along the lines of how “PC guys are not going to just walk in.” It’s way more fun that way!

Related articles:
Apple’s next big thing: The Apple Car? – February 13, 2015
Apple hiring auto engineers and designers – February 13, 2015

113 Comments

    1. I went to his site, opens up to what appears to be a blank page then you see the page links on the left side. Maybe he is operating in the ” If I make it weird enough, you will think I am sophisticated ” school design

      Then when you look at his car design, the only answer is Bingo, above point proven.

  1. I doubt that Apple will directly manufacture any auto. Apple will provide technology and expertise to auto makers. I also don’t think Apple will limit the licensing of technology to electric cars, but also provide it for conventional, and hybrid autos. 😀

  2. I’d be very surprised if this actually comes to fruition. Talk about biting off more than you can chew! Yes, Apple has the resources to make its own car, though I’m not sure if this is a worthwhile focus for those resources. I would similarly be surprised if this does pan out, that such a vehicle would be a minivan. I mean, I know Apple is becoming more and more mainstream for mobile and computing devices, read: the soccer mom demographic, but I’d be stunned if their first vehicle turned out to be a minivan. With that said, I’ve wondered for some time, where the heck our first viable hybrid or electric minivan has been all these years. You’d think it’s the perfect vehicle to give this kind of treatment. Large body with which to design and integrate batteries, motors, etc., relatively aerodynamic body type by default, etc.

    My best guess is that auto makers have held off on this because of segmentation. e.g., Minivans are fantastically utilitarian and if you put out a 40+MPG minivan, say 10 years ago, why the heck would a parent or family buy anything else in your vehicle repertoire? Say goodbye to the Prius legacy. I’m already drooling over the supposed 50+MPG plug-in hybrid SUVs on the horizon from Volvo and Mitsubishi. Double the MPG (or more) of a given product segment, especially a less economical vehicle like an SUV or minivan, and it’ll give consumers serious pause to go for anything else.

  3. It resembles a minivan and Tesla needs to cower in fear? Get a grip. If its anything like a minivan or one of those asian crossover looking things theres no chance any car guys would be interested. Apple doesn’t deal in devices “for the people” they are all about the high end.

  4. Apple’s development process would not allow them to set their objective as develop new car. They are out to reinvent transportation. Does “Beam me up Scotty ring a bell?”

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