One of Apple's top designers says the car industry is 'at the bottom of a trough'

Marc Newson, one of Apple’s top designers, has said he thinks the automotive industry is “at the bottom of a trough.”

In a wide-ranging interview with The Wall Street Journal which also covers fashion, apps, and fountain pens, the 51-year-old Australian strongly criticised the state of modern cars, choosing them as his “pet peeve.”

“There were moments when cars somehow encapsulated everything that was good about progress,” Newson said. “But right now we’re at the bottom of a trough.”

The comments are sure to spark a fresh round of speculation about Apple’s ambitions to move into automotive technology. Over the past year, there has been a growing flurry of leaks, rumours, and executive comments indicating that Apple is experimenting with building a car. Now Newson is adding his own voice to that chorus.

The veteran designer joined Apple in 2014, and helped design the Apple Watch. But he’s tried his hand at building a car before. In 1999, he created a concept car for Ford.

Here’s how it looked:

Of course, there’s no guarantee that Apple’s car will ever make its way to commercial production. With cash reserves of more than $US200 billion, it can afford to experiment. But there’s a wealth of evidence that Apple is developing something under the codename “Project Titan.”

Here’s a quick rundown:

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