Tesla design chief takes shot at Apple, claims there's 'nothing to look forward to'

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Tesla Senior Design Executive Franz von Holzhausen recently criticized Apple, stating that the company's products are "just a slight refinement on the same thing."

Credit: Tesla
Credit: Tesla


In a recent interview with Spike's Car Radio, the Tesla executive took shots at Apple, insinuating that the company isn't breaking any ground with its product design.

"The sad part about Apple products now is like there's nothing to look forward to. I feel like it's just a continuation," Holzhausen said. "It's just a slight refinement on the same thing."

Additionally, Holzhausen said that "inspirationally, it's been hard to get super motivated by what they're doing."

The Tesla design chief did acknowledge that he wears an Apple Watch, but said he only does so "because of the fitness thing side to it."

"Otherwise I haven't really found much purpose to [the Apple Watch], other than the fitness part," he said.

Holzhausen joined Tesla in 2008 after stints at Mazda, General Motors, and Volkswagen. During his time at Tesla, Holzhausen has been responsible for leading design on the Tesla Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, and Cybertruck.

This isn't the first time that a Tesla executive has taken a pot-shot at Apple. Back in 2015, CEO Elon Musk called the Cupertino tech giant the "Tesla graveyard, stating that Apple is where former Tesla employees end up if they "don't make it."

Although Tesla and Apple aren't direct rivals, the latter company is known to be working on an all-electric "Apple Car" that could bring both companies into competition with each other. Some analysts believe that Apple could be Tesla's biggest threat if the "Apple Car" comes to fruition.

Apple and Tesla both regularly poach employees and engineers from each other. Most recently, Apple hired a Tesla engineer to work on its own secretive self-driving car project.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 72
    XedXed Posts: 1,464member
    This from a company that has been milking the Model S design with a "slight refinement on the same thing" for a decade? It's a testament to a great design from the start… but fucking odd for Holzhausen to say.
    edited February 9 tmayviclauyycblastdoorronnNotSoMuchBeatsiqatedoravnorodomKTRapplguy
  • Reply 2 of 72
    Xed said:
    This from a company that has been filing the Model S design for a decade?
    Don’t be so unfair. They also copied the Lotus design. 
    tmayronnNotSoMuchBeatsravnorodomKTRapplguydrdavidkillroylolliver
  • Reply 3 of 72
    Says the company which designed a pickup truck resembling  the head of a spear than a pickup.
    tmayronnNotSoMuchJFC_PAravnorodomKTRkillroylolliverjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 72
    Hilarious… specially coming from this dude.. U cant tell one Tesla from another sice the getgo… and then the JOKE called Cybertruck.. 
    Thanks for the Laugh Franz! 😂
    ronnJFC_PAKTRkillroylolliverentropysjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 72
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,251member
    The Tesla design chief did acknowledge that he wears an Apple Watch, but said he only does so "because of the fitness thing side to it."

    "Otherwise I haven't really found much purpose to [the Apple Watch], other than the fitness part," he said.
    I don't see much purpose to Teslas, other than the driving part.

    I'm sure he's a very smart guy at whatever he does, but sheesh, what an idiot.
    ronnravnorodomKTRradarthekatkillroylolliverjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 72
    Did Holzhausen invent a time machine and travel back to Junior High moments before the interview? 
    Prattling petulant Prussian. 
    dewmelolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 72
    That’s such bullshit. He is just saying that because he works for Tesla and wants other people who hear is false words to think he tells a true tale. He lies to himself for he knows what Apple is capable. Apple’s future looks bright and it is for all to see. 
    viclauyycKTRradarthekatkillroylolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 72
    But it's true, but what's funny is, these "small refinements" are HUGE to "us" who pay attention to detail, and we luv that.  The bonus is, every once in a while it's "AirPods Pro" and we go YEA!  or M1 MAX, yea! or MacMini with a Max, yea!! But the kicker is we inject these into our ecosystem, and it's back to noticing the little details and being happy.

    So I kind of re-cant, it's not particularly "true" because Apple does kinda come up with new stuff what? like 2-3 things a year? minimum? Hardware wise, not Software.  Heck Software it's like 50-100 things if not more!  But yeah in comparison to Tesla, pretty much a joke statement!

    🤷🏻
    radarthekatkillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 72
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,873member
    I mean, if this is a rando person with this opinion, I get it.  Heck, I share some of that sentiment.  But when you design for Tesla?  Good lord.  Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.  Granted, Apple hasn't released a truly new and major product category of hardware in a while (arguably the AirPods in 2016, or the Watch in 2015.  But they've done other hardware things, like MagSafe, Apple Silicon.  They've continually improved performance.  They launched Apple TV+, which has become quite successful.  He's either saying this for competitive reasons/bragging rights/marketing, or he's just bitching that he doesn't have the same feeling he did when Apple was going from PowerBook G3s to G4's, or introducing the G5 or Intel transition.  Hard to match the original iPhone and Steve Jobs RDF.   Well guess what? This isn't 2002.  Apple has released three products that essentially changed the world in the last 20 years....the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad.  That's not to mention the entire concept of App Stores.  He's either a corporate whore or just a dolt.  Maybe both.  
    viclauyycBeatsradarthekath2pkillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 72
    Who knew Steve Ballmer had German relatives working for Tesla?
    viclauyychydrogenBeatsradarthekatlkruppretrogustokillroyScot1lolliverjony0
  • Reply 11 of 72
    A child with a high paying job. 
    jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 72
    Coming from somebody who manufactures cars that are based on the shape of a potato...well... I'll take his comments with a grain of salt and sour cream. 
    JFC_PABeatscaladanianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 72
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,698member
    Xed said:
    This from a company that has been milking the Model S design with a "slight refinement on the same thing" for a decade? It's a testament to a great design from the start… but fucking odd for Holzhausen to say.
    I came here to say this too. You nailed it 
    XedRudeBoyRudyBeatsjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 72
    Maybe he’s mad Apple never hired him away from Tesla.
    ravnorodomTuuborjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 72
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,610member
    A Tesla in nothing more than a "refinement" of any automobile, that can get one from Point A to Point B, using 4 wheels. Whether using gasoline, diesel, electric, NG, hybrid, Hydrogen, biodiesel or otherwise. 

    Now if one were to drive directly from Point A to Point B at 65MPH and one get there in less time when driving a Tesla, than any other auto (doing the same 65MPH), then I would definitely call that more than just a "refinement".  

    How much anyone want to bet that if someone were to ask this guy for the time, he would look at his AppleWatch instead of pulling out his smartphone (which would mostly be an iPhone)? I have over half a dozen friends with an AppleWatch and none of them bought it to tell time with. But that doesn't mean that they don't use their AppleWatch for that purpose when its the most convenient way. 

    Plus there are things to look forward to from Apple. For one, a self driving car that don't run Stop signs, run into the back of emergency vehicles (with lights flashing), try to drive under semi-tractor trailers crossing the road ahead, driving off the road when there's a fork ahead, make unsafe lane changes, etc.. 
    edited February 9 tmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 72
    Who knew Steve Ballmer had German relatives working for Tesla?
    I was just gonna say this...I don't care if you like Apple or not, never ever underestimate what Apple can do even if it's completely new to a space. Seems like so many times Apple goes to enter a space and those already in it after like pfft yeah whatever Apple and maybe it takes a few years but guess what, Apple comes up out front (or near the front) and those companies who don't take companies like Apple seriously start losing out on their own business. Even if the first product is just mediocre, Apple adapts, changes and it has the cash, resources and customer base to do this. 
    edited February 9 Beatsdanoxradarthekatmike1lolliverbadmonkjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 72
    Xed said:
    This from a company that has been milking the Model S design with a "slight refinement on the same thing" for a decade? It's a testament to a great design from the start… but fucking odd for Holzhausen to say.
    The model S is the best looking vehicle Tesla makes.  Everything else they have is ugly.  The form factor of SUV type vehicles is already bland itself,  not much any manufacturer can do with a cube on wheels.  
    Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 72
    Historically speaking this is a typical sentiment right before Apple disrupts the shit out of an industry. Just makes their fall from grace that much funnier. 
    Xedravnorodomradarthekatkiltedgreenlolliverpscooter63badmonkwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 72
    I agree that Apple's recent designs aren't amazing or surprising, but functionally the new MacBook Pro is a HUGE improvement over the 2016 design. The Mac Pro is also a good design. As for Tesla, I find most of their cars eyesores, especially the rear ends and the unreleased truck.
    robin huberwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 72
    XedXed Posts: 1,464member
    Historically speaking this is a typical sentiment right before Apple disrupts the shit out of an industry. Just makes their fall from grace that much funnier. 
    LOL That is an excellent observation. Just need them to say, "Computer guys aren't just going to come in and disrupt the automobile industry" comment.
    bloggerblogradarthekatblastdoorkiltedgreenwatto_cobra
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