Third Tesla engineer departs for Apple

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Apple’s possible plans for the car industry continue to generate speculation, particularly because the tech titan has recently recruited a third high-level Tesla Inc. automotive engineering executive in the last year to join its ranks.

Steve MacManus, who had been serving as Tesla’s vice president responsible for engineering car interiors and exteriors, is now a senior director at Apple, according to his LinkedIn profile, Automotive News reports. He joins Michael Schwekutsch, former Tesla drive systems VP, and Doug Field, former chief vehicle engineer for the EV maker, at Apple. Schwekutsch hired in four months ago and Field started at Apple last August.

While Automotive News speculates that MacManus might bring his interior design skills to Apple’s existing product lines, not necessarily an Apple car, it should be noted that senior directors, even those involved in design, typically supervise designers and rarely design products themselves. MacManus had been with Tesla since 2015, having previously worked at premier British brands, Bentley, Aston Martin, and Jaguar Land Rover.

Interestingly, 2015 was also when Tesla CEO Elon Musk, referred to Apple as a “Tesla graveyard” implying that the computer and personal electronic device manufacturer was hiring unwanted castoffs from Tesla. The two companies have been known for employing each other’s engineers for some time now, so this isn’t necessarily a smoking gun of an Apple car in a full-on development track.

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