Apple appears to be readying to bring a car to the market with the recent rehiring of product guru Bob Mansfield.

Reports from Silicon Valley indicate that Apple brought back a trusted senior executive who helped bring to market many of the company’s signature products to oversee its efforts to build automotive program.

Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive officer, said last winter that Apple was preparing to enter the car business.

But true to its corporate culture, Apple has remained highly secretive about its intentions and its project unlike its Silicon Valley neighbors Google and particularly Tesla and its founder Elon Musk, who seems to speak almost every day about new developments.

Google has openly courted allies in the automotive world and had its experimental Google cars now running on the roads in Silicon Valley and Austin, Texas. Google is also opening a research center in Detroit suburbs.

However, word is out on the West Coast that Bob Mansfield, the former Apple’s Senior Vice President of Technologies, is back in Cupertino, California. He left the company after the successful development signature Apple products such as MacBook Air, the iMac desktop computer, as well as the iPad, according to The Wall Street Journal.

(New vehicle sales expected to be flat in July. For more, Click Here.)

With his experience in product development and product integration, Mansfield is expected to run Apple’s automotive team, Project Titan, and his appointment suggests that Apple is interested in more than just software, but a full-fledged product such as an electric car rather than software or the artificial intelligence systems required for autonomous vehicles.

Apple apparently declined requests for comment on the appointment. Nor did the issue any kind of press release or file a report with the SEC, which is expected after a “material” change in its finances or market position.

(Apple continues to hire top talent away from automakers. For more, Click Here.)

Overall, Apple remains one of Silicon Valley’s bell weather companies but the revenue growth has slowed and its vaunted product development pipeline has been as productive as in the past.

Cook has said the auto industry with its growing appetite for high technology represents an attractive opportunity for Apple. Apple reported this week its sales dropped 15% to $42.4 billion in the second quarter (its fiscal third quarter) largely because iPhones sales shrunk by 15% to 40.4 million units.

(Click Here for details about Apple’s $1B investment in Didi.)

That marked both the second-ever and second consecutive decline in iPhone sales at Apple. Profits declined 27% to $7.8 billion. Nonetheless, the Apple still beat expectations and its stock surged 8%.

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