Apple hires former Fiat Chrysler executive for its rumored electric car project

By midian182 ยท 6 replies
Jul 21, 2015
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  1. Apple has hired automotive industry veteran Doug Betts, who most recently served as senior vice president of global quality for Fiat Chrysler, fuelling rumors that the company is moving ahead in its efforts to develop an electric car.

    Betts’ LinkedIn profile shows the longtime auto exec moved to Apple’s ‘Operations’ team in July after leaving Fiat Chrysler in November last year. He has held similar quality assurance positions for Japanese automobile manufacturing giants Nissan and Toyota.

    Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that Tim Cook approved Apple’s electric car project back in 2014 and has assigned “hundreds” of employees to the project’s team. Moreover, it has also been reported in the past that Apple has hired president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development, Johann Jungwirth, along with other auto industry execs.

    Apple has gathered dozens of engineers — some grabbed from the company’s iPhone group — at a secret location off the Cupertino campus to research various car technologies, according to a report in the Financial Times.

    Further evidence of Apple’s supposed interest in electric vehicles comes from the company’s ongoing poaching war with Tesla, and battery technology company A123, which filed a lawsuit against Apple alleging illegal poaching of its top researchers involved in high-performance, large format battery products.

    Bloomberg says the company is pushing to launch its own electric car by the year 2020, citing “people with knowledge of the matter”.

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  2. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,741   +3,757

    They couldn't poach anybody from Merc, BMW, Audi? I expect my Apple products to be premium, dammit! If that car they're working on doesn't have German DNA in its chassis and design, I swear I'll switch to an Android car.

    (There is an Android car, right?)
    MartyLK likes this.
  3. lripplinger

    lripplinger TS Addict Posts: 283   +98

    Yay, Crapple is hiring someone from a car company that builds nothing but crap.
    MartyLK likes this.
  4. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,890   +1,224

    Well... there is a google car in the works.

    So why a car, Apple?
    I get it that the makers of gasoline cars are probably not equipped to switch to a different engine type as quickly as Tesla could start from scratch. And that means it's very possible to leap-frog right over those old companies. If Tesla and Google are going to make a car, probably self-driving, then I'm sure Apple feels they can get in the self-driving technology car market as it's starting up. Over the next 20 years, it will be a huge market.

    I can't even imagine how silly an Apple car would be though. Will it have back-lit logos so everyone will know it's an Apple car? Will it be over-priced and short on features? Will Apple make you pay for options that are standard in competitor's models? Will it's obsolescence be planned for a few years?

    I do know that people will line up to buy one though.
  5. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,741   +3,757

    Probably not. Unless they hired one of Merc's design people and didn't tell the press. (Back-lit grill logo is an option on new Mercs.)
  6. JamesandBennie

    JamesandBennie TS Booster Posts: 170   +14

    For electric cars to go mainstream we need no only long range and somewhat affordable cost of ownership and charger stations everywhere, but we need a much faster way of charging the cars too like graphene super-capicator batteries. Without something that can charge from empty to full in less than 10 minutes this is going to be a significant, pardon the pun, road block.
  7. Maybe the car range will be called 'Lemon' to differenciate them from Apple....;)

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