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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

The Wall Street Journal has published an in-depth profile of industrial designer Marc Newson, a longtime friend of Apple design chief Jonathan Ive who joined the Cupertino-based company in September 2014. The interview touches upon a number of topics, ranging from Newson's creative process and design philosophies to his favorite artists and fashion designers.

Apple designers Marc Newson (left) and Jonathan Ive (right) via Vanity Fair

Just months after reports claimed Apple is actively researching and developing an electric and possibly self-driving vehicle, Newson added fuel to those rumors by referring to the automotive industry as one of his design pet-peeves. The designer said that while cars used to encapsulate "everything that was good about progress," the industry is now "at the bottom of a trough."
My design pet-peeve is: the automotive industry. There were moments when cars somehow encapsulated everything that was good about progress. But right now we're at the bottom of a trough.
Newson's comments certainly do not imply that Apple is working on a vehicle, but it is clear that multiple executives at the Cupertino-based company are car enthusiasts. Apple's SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue joined Ferrari's Board of Directors in November 2012, while Ive has owned several luxury vehicles ranging from Aston Martins and Fiats to Bentleys and Land Rovers.

Jonathan Ive's previous Aston Martin DB9 supercar

The New Yorker also reflected on how Newson and Ive are "car guys" in February:
He and Newson are car guys, and they feel disappointed with most modern cars; each summer, they attend the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where vintage sports cars are exhibited and raced in the South of England. "There are some shocking cars on the road," Ive said. "One person's car is another person's scenery." To his right was a silver sedan with a jutting lower lip. Ive said, quietly, "For example." As the disgraced car fell behind, I asked Ive to critique its design: "It is baffling, isn't it? It's just nothing, isn't it? It's just insipid." He declined to name the model, muttering, "I don't know, I don't want to offend." (Toyota Echo.)
It was reported in February that Apple has hundreds of employees, including former Tesla, Ford and GM engineers, working on an electric vehicle at a top-secret research lab possibly located in the Sunnyvale area. The much-rumored initiative, known internally as "Project Titan," likely remains in the early stages of research and development, with Bloomberg reporting that Apple hopes to begin production in 2020.

Article Link: Apple's Marc Newson Believes Automotive Design is Lacking Progress


macrumors 68000
Sep 29, 2008
"I don't want to offend." Nice sentiment but the Echo was/is pretty hideous. At the time it was described kindly as "oddly proportioned".
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macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2008
I suspect they are referencing the wrong car (Toyota Echo) or they were not actually at the festival when those comments were made. Its highly unlikely a car of such insignificance would be anywhere near. Maybe in an adjacent parking lot.

Mr Fusion

macrumors 6502a
May 7, 2007
My design pet-peeve is: the automotive industry. There were moments when cars somehow encapsulated everything that was good about progress. But right now we're at the bottom of a trough.
I could say the exact same thing about the computer and electronics industry. Apple's designs have hit a trough too.


macrumors 68000
Aug 4, 2008
The auto makers don't really see enough threat from eachother in order to have to make great leaps in technology. It's only up until recently that they started to ramp up their electric research when they saw that Tesla could start eating into their sales. Until that point, they were all fine adding things like an extra cup holder, or a more efficient engine which could squeeze out an extra mpg every few years...


macrumors 68040
May 28, 2008
I also think car designers are lazy. I picked up a 2016 Mazda6 a month ago and I do enjoy it. However, look at the rear ends of some cars and SUVs. They all look very similar. Just lazy. I don't know what's wrong with Toyota to add a big plastic open mouth at the bottom of their Corolla and Camry.

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.24.01 AM.png


macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
In between a rock and a hard place
In Marc Newson I trust...or not.



OMG. You beat me to the punch. Newson, like everyone else, can have an opinion about car design. But when you design the Ford 021C, you don't have a lot of room to talk about design. Although from 1999, this thing looks like something a 6 year old drew with crayons. I personally think he's wrong about today's automotive design. There are numerous beautifully designed cars on the road today.
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