Apple has poached yet another Tesla executive. The technology company has brought on Tesla’s head of powertrains, Michael Schwekutsch.
Schwekutsch was previously in vice president of engineering at Tesla where he oversaw electric motors, transmissions, and axles. According to his LinkedIn profile, he previously worked on the Model 3, the new Roadster, and the Semi at Tesla. His profile confirmed he’s now with Apple, which Electrek first spotted in a Saturday report. He’s also worked with other auto suppliers and automakers. A few of his notable projects have been the BMW i8 and Porsche 918 Spyder, both of which are hybrid sports cars.
His new position at Apple fuels rumors of a physical Apple car once again. The technology company also hired away Tesla’s senior designer, Andrew Kim, in December. Apple remains tight-lipped on what its latest new hires are working on at the company. We do know Schwekutsch is part of Apple’s Project Titan team, the group that was once responsible for a physical Apple car. It’s thought the team shifted strategies years ago to only focus on self-driving systems instead of hardware.
Apple’s self-driving system atop a Lexus RX – Image via MacCallister Higgins
The Project Titan team has undergone major restructuring. In January, Apple shed 200 employees from Project Titan after Doug Field, also formerly of Tesla, joined the team. Field was Tesla’s vice president of engineering and had previously worked for Apple before moving to Tesla. That marks three high-profile exits from Tesla in just over a year. Apple also hired on an ex-Waymo engineer responsible for self-driving car technology last June.
These continued high-profile hires show Project Titan is far from dead, but it’s unclear if the team is working on a physical car or software, and there is no indication of when Apple will be ready to share news from the team’s efforts.