Apple’s car project has hit another roadblock. The iPhone maker on Monday put the brakes on hiring more employees for its ambitious electric vehicle program, dubbed Project Titan, according to unnamed sources speaking to AppleInsider.
The staffing freeze came in part because Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive was unhappy with the progress of the development of the anticipated electric vehicle. That’s despite Apple’s aggressive recruiting, which drew talent from across the automotive industry and from electric car rival Tesla Motors.
Apple in September had previously given the project the go-ahead to triple its team of 600 employees, according to the Wall Street Journal. The move also comes just days after it was revealed that Steve Zadesky, the engineer tasked with leading the vehicle project, is expected to leave Apple for personal reasons.
Together the two developments add up to a growing number of setbacks to Apple’s car, which is anticipated to ship by 2019 at the earliest. Apple had also faced problems finding a manufacturing site and at the time had considered the possibility of partnering with an existing automotive manufacturer, according to a September AppleInsider report. In July, Apple also had exploratory meetings with BMW, in part to learn how it manufactures its i3 electric cars, according to Reuters. But no partnership materialized from the meeting.
The rumored Apple Car isn’t the only new project where Apple has run into snags. While the company was expected to debut its own standalone live TV service in 2015, the subscription service failed to happen, partly due to stalled negotiations between the iPhone maker and content providers, according to the New York Times.