Ford poaches Doug Field from Apple, executive was leading the ‘Apple Car’ project

Ford Motor Co. is hiring Doug Field, the head of Apple’s “Apple Car” project, away from the Cupertino Colossus. Prior to arriving at Apple, Field played a major role launching the Model 3 at Tesla.

Apple Car, cloaked in mystery

Craig Trudell and Keith Naughton for Bloomberg:

Doug Field is coming aboard as chief advanced technology and embedded systems officer, Ford said in a statement. Field also previously worked as a top engineer at Tesla Inc. between two stints at Apple…

The hire is a coup for Ford, which has made major strides under Chief Executive Officer Jim Farley in convincing investors it can compete with Tesla and others on electric vehicles and technology. Ford shares have almost doubled since Farley took over in October, after his two predecessors presided over a years-long slump.

“This is a watershed moment for our company — Doug has accomplished so much,” Farley said in a briefing with reporters. “This is just a monumental moment in time that we have now to really remake a 118-year-old company.”

Apple said it’s grateful for the contributions Field made and that it wishes him well at Ford. The departure marks another significant setback for Apple’s automotive efforts. The company’s car project has gone through several strategy and leadership shake-ups since it started to take shape around 2014… Field joined in 2018 and is at least the fourth member of the car group’s management team who has left since February and the fourth Apple car division chief to leave since it started.

MacDailyNews Take: As with most “secret” projects at Apple, from the outside, the company seems to be floundering – right up until the day they release a paradigm-shifting product or service.

Doug had better brush up on his “engineering” of knobs, handles, and buttons that fail within 36 months – a standard Ford feature alongside insipid design flaws that promote concentrated body rust.


  1. It seems the only thing that Apple’s executive management really understands about automobiles is how to buy very expensive ones, because they’re all multi-millionaires. Other than that THEY ARE NOT CAR PEOPLE, they are computer people. Car people form standalone car companies and dedicate their lives trying to make them successful. In spite of awesome dedication many fail. Cars can’t be made as a sideline and then micro-managed by the unwashed. That is the path to failure. Computer people find new and interesting ways to add new kinds of computers to our lives to make them easier, more interesting and fun. Apple has been VERY good at doing that. One gets the impression that some senior managers at Apple are very easily manipulated. The Apple Board of Directors needs to wake up.

    1. After their announcement of their intent to conduct warrant-less searches of customer data without permission, I’d say you’re being charitable to suggest they’re “computer people”. If you’d said “slick marketing people with a shaky moral compass” I’d have agreed with you.

  2. -I just heard someone that test drove a Tesla that it was more computer on wheels than anything connected to non-EVs.

    -Apple has always been run by multimillionaires. Steve was was worth 200 million before age 25.

    -The proclamations you are making sound ALOT like those made by the Blackberry CEO on the advent of Apple’s iPh release. Ballmer had similar doubts as well. Both of them are so full of crow, they can’t move…in fact, who are those guys now?

    My thoughts don’t necessarily imply Apple will release a fine car product, but it’s VERY rare to look at Apple’s history of significant financial/research commitment and to find a dog. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

  3. Remember the non-sense talk regarding an Apple Television for years and years by analysts, bloggers and the general public, I kept saying there will NEVER be such product, and the same applies to the EV automobile – Apple however is interested in some cohesion through software / hardware within such categories to keep the iPhone front and centre going forward – plus the margins are way too thin for Apple, end of story.

  4. The profit margin on ev and car’s in general is low. Tesla is barely 2%. Ford is 6% for traditional cars. The iPhone has a 38% profit margin. Apple making cars is the dumbest black hole ever. Imagine the service and support network needed to service an ev. And if Apple uses a 3rd party like Hyundai then it’s not an Apple car and the will water down their brand.

    Apple will tie up so much, time, resources and brain power to barley survive in such a crowded space that makes very little actual profit. The market cap of Ford is 4 months of Apples profit but think of the parts, warehouse, service logistics nightmare to maintain a fleet of automobiles year after year, the potential legal nightmare of recalls and faulty design, these are automobiles that when are misused equal dead bodies, think of the image and brand nightmare when a family dies in an Apple car. Have the thought thus out, and ultimately for what ? 5% profit margin ?

    Steve Jobs once said the most powerful word is no. The important decision is to turn down a good idea and make room for life changing idea. Look at Apple plus streaming service, the Apple car will be one of many and offer nothing of real distinction. This is such a waste. Apple AI tech may be a good hobby but actually making cars is a distraction. Oh wait Tim has no other original ideas and now Apple is left playing catch up and follow the leader. The only card he has now that Steve and co. has left the building is to chase others,

    Heck next Apple will announce a space program.

  5. Since 2014, Field is at least the fourth member of the car group’s management team who has left since February and the fourth Apple car division chief to leave since it started.

    Sounds like car executives are not held in high esteem by Apple woke tech management in charge of computers and phones is disconcerting and micro managed comes to mind.

    Yes, Apple did not officially announce they were working on a car. But Project Titan has been around about eight years. Dozens of stories meeting with manufacturing execs, sightings of Apple test vehicles driving around town and renting huge warehouse space. Cream of the crop car expert employees coming and going. So exactly what are they working on, a new iPhone smaller size and half as thin as a Zippo lighter?

    Still, @Just because… with too long a screen name editorializing an out come makes several excellent points.
    The low profit margins, the huge infrastructure and service logistics and the first car death the press will not be kind.

    Car manufacturers Ford for example pride themselves on immediate access controlling the whole manufacturing and distribution widget.

    It would not surprise me if Cook is pursuing the iPhone manufacturing and distribution model with no deal thus far. Judging by the Apple revolving door of car experts, how to follow through for success half a world away with a company you do not own next door, doubtful it will work.

    Suspect Apple car will slowly fade away unannounced with no comment. Same as the skinny streaming bundle TV service, Apple TV, Liquid Metal and other pipeline dreams. We shall see…

  6. Project Titan is a wild forest of tchnologies, methodologies without a clue how to make it a viable product or service. And if 4 car executive SVP’s can’t solve the puzzle,👨‍⚕️never will.

  7. If you showed a farmer in 1910 a drawing of a Toyota Corolla, and said, “That is the future of cars,” he would laugh, “How are you going to use that on a farm!” . . . I think the mistake when envisioning the future is that we imagine “a car” in 2030 the same way as in 2020. . . . If cities develop self-driving taxi services, instead of a 15 foot long “car” picking you up, you might have a 6 foot long “pod” pick you up, and zip you to your next location . . . Regarding food, instead of driving your “car” to the grocery store, you may have small delivery pods bring the food to your home . . . We already see the first iteration of a network of electric vehicles, with electric powered bikes and rentable electric scooters in many cities–we see smaller form factors such as the Arcimoto . . . the next iteration is to have all of these devices connected to an AI which functions similarly to air traffic control, managing the movement of these various electric vehicles . . . so this is a worthwhile ecosystem for Apple to invest in — whether or not their first shipping product is a “car” . . . we will see.

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