Rumblings of trouble for Apple's Project Titan electric car

Project Leader Steve Zadesky May Be Leaving Company

The leader of one of the world's largest automakers was pretty impressed with Apple's progress towards making an electric car, according to one report. Inside Apple, though, it might be another story. We heard reports this week that the person spearheading the computer company's EV project may be on the way out.

Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler, recently toured about 70 companies throughout California's Silicon Valley, and told German publication Welt am Sonntag that he was impressed with what he saw, especially with Apple's EV-making efforts and Google's progress on a self-driving vehicle, Reuters reported.

Now, Apple hasn't discussed what we've heard is called "Project Titan" publicly, but it doesn't appear to be very happy with the EV project's progress, AppleInsider says, citing a person familiar with the process. With more than 1,000 people working on the semi-secret electric car, Apple was looking to finish the vehicle's engineering by 2019. There may also have been discussions with BMW about having that German automaker's i3 plug-in vehicle serve as a development platform for the Apple vehicle.

Meanwhile, Apple's Steve Zadesky, who is heading up Project Titan, may be leaving the company after 16 years, The Wall Street Journal says, citing people familiar with the process. While the reasons for the departure are said to be personal, Zadesky had been boosting headcount for the project, so Apple may have been getting impatient. Sadesky worked at Ford before joining Apple, and worked on the iPod and iPhone before taking charge of the EV team.

Apple supposedly had "several hundred" working on Project Titan as of last February, and the EV was believed to be similar to a minivan-type project.

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