Doug Field is back at Apple

From John Gruber (daring fireball.net):

Here’s some interesting hiring news I’ve heard through the little birdie grapevine:1 Doug Field — who left Tesla in May after overseeing Model 3 production — has returned to Apple, working in Bob Mansfield’s project Titan group. Apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr confirmed with me only that Field has returned to Apple, but no one should find it surprising that he’s working on Titan.

Doug Field who oversaw Model 3 production knows more about the Model 3 vehicle and production process than almost anyone at Tesla, besides Elon.  And know, just a couple months after leaving Tesla, he is back at Apple and supposedly working on Apple’s car project.

I can’t imagine Elon is very happy about this.  Doug Field was a trusted lieutenant for Elon, and someone he relied on heavily in many regards.  And now Doug Field has left to go to Apple to make a possible competing car.

Gruber also makes an interesting point:

But I think it’s an interesting hire, primarily because it suggests to me that Apple still has an interest in making actual vehicles, despite reports that the company has scaled back the project to merely make autonomous systems for inclusion in vehicles made by other companies. That rumor never really made sense to me anyway — Apple’s modus operandi has always been to make the whole widget. Apple makes products, not components.

In other words, Apple is not about making a component of the car like the infotainment or the autonomous driving function.  Rather, Apple’s approach is to make the product, meaning the car.

Though probably unlikely, I do wonder with Apple hiring Doug Field so quickly, Elon also was also about to find out more about Apple’s plans.  And while I’m sure Elon is confident Tesla can withstand and beat out Apple in the car business, still there might be some concern over how the public markets might react when Apple releases a car and how much it might hit TSLA stock.  As a private company, Tesla’s private valuation would likely more more stable and somewhat insulated from events that tend to influence public sentiment.







My Initial Impressions on the Model 3

I took delivery of my new Model 3 about a week ago and I am thoroughly impressed.

The Model 3 is an amazing car. First, the car looks and feels like a Tesla. I’m glad that they kept many of the exterior design features of the Model S as the Model 3 looks like a slightly smaller Model S. Driving the cars feels like vintage Tesla. Instant torque, seamless acceleration, and great handling. In fact, since the Model 3 is a smaller car, it handles curves much more adeptly than its big brother the Model S. Under 60mph, the Model 3 is a much more fun and nimble car to drive. At the end of every day this past week I was left thinking, “Wow! This is a great car!”

The interior of the Model 3 is the future of Tesla interior design. I personally think they nailed the interior design and it feels great inside. The seats feel great. The simplicity in design is stunning. I was quickly able to get used to the 15” center screen and wasn’t bothered by the lack of a driver console screen. Some people online have complained about how some of the functions work on the 15” screen, but I know all of the software can and will be improved upon. What they have right now is a fantastic start and is more than capable.

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