Apple Car Talk Renews After Hiring of Tesla Designer Andrew Kim
Speculation about Apple getting into car design is revving up again.
The tech giant has hired Andrew Kim, a former senior designer at Tesla, Kim’s LinkedIn profile shows. Kim worked at Tesla between December 2016 and November 2018 and joined Apple this month. As is customary for Apple employees, his LinkedIn profile doesn’t say what he might be doing at the company.
Kim has played an integral role in several products over the last five years. Prior to joining Tesla in 2016, he worked at Microsoft, where he helped design the Xbox One S and Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented-reality headset. At Tesla, he was involved in the design of the Model 3, Model S, Model X, Semi, and Roadster v2.
His move to Apple, where he holds the title of “Designer,” has sparked renewed interest in whether the tech giant wants to build a car.
Tech industry speculation for years centered on whether Apple had its sights on the auto industry and poaching Tesla employees to do it. Elon Musk called Apple’s efforts in the car business the “worst-kept secret” in Silicon Valley.
However, as time went on, Apple focused on car software and self-driving technology, nixing the idea of designing a car.
However, this year Apple has hired “scores” of employees from Tesla, according to a CNBC report. And although Kim has a background in software and hardware, at Tesla, his efforts centered on the vehicle and specifically, cabin space.
As you might expect, Apple isn’t talking about what might be up in Cupertino regarding its auto future. The company did not immediately respond to a Fortune request for comment on the Kim hiring.