Apple lays off more than 600 workers after scrapping car and display project


Apple laid off more than 600 workers in California, the company disclosed in a set of filings with the state’s Employment Development Department published on Thursday, weeks after reports of the company cancelling its self-driving car project and in-house efforts to build Apple Watch displays.
Apple has laid off more than 600 people from its offices in Santa Clara, California after scrapping its car and display projects. ANADOLU VIA GETTY IMAGES
Key facts
  • Apple disclosed it permanently laid off 614 employees from eight different offices in Santa Clara in multiple entries it made into California’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification system.
  • One of the facilities named in the filing—where 58 workers were laid off—corresponds with the address of microLED display tech maker LuxVue Technology, which Apple acquired in 2014.
  • Bloomberg reported last month that the company had canceled plans to develop its own displays for the Apple Watch and laid off workers as the “cost and complexity” proved too much.
  • Most of the other firings were linked to facilities where Apple was developing an advanced self-driving electric car—an ambitious and expensive decade-long effort that the company reportedly scrapped last month.
  • According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the layoffs cover machine shop managers, hardware engineers and product design engineers linked to the secret project.
News peg

These are the first major set of layoffs the company has carried out since the end of the pandemic. Last year, Apple managed to avoid large-scale firings that swept through the tech industry and affected workers at major companies like Google, Microsoft, Meta and Amazon.

In an interview with CNBC last May, the company’s CEO Tim Cook said he viewed mass layoffs as a “last resort” and it was “not something that we’re talking about at this moment.”

Big number

57,785. That is the total number of staffers laid off by tech companies in 2024 as of Friday, according to the tracker

These layoffs have affected workers at 235 tech companies so far with Apple being the latest addition to the list.


Key background

Last month, Apple abandoned its decade-long internal effort to build a self-driving car and switched focus to working on artificial intelligence, Bloomberg reported.

The company had never formally announced it was working on an EV, but the so-called Project Titan was seen as one of the company’s most ambitious internal efforts.

The company had tapped long-time hardware engineer Bob Mansfield to lead the project and later hired former Tesla executive Doug Field to work alongside Mansfield.

According to various reports, the project saw a tumultuous development environment that led to both of them leaving the company.

The project was also reportedly pared down, going from a fully autonomous vehicle with no pedals or steering wheel at one point to a “Level 2+” self-driving system that only does lane centering and adaptive cruise control.

Apple’s shares have taken a major beating since the start of the year—falling more than 9%—as the company faces a DOJ-led antitrust investigation, flagging sales in China and its slow embrace of AI.

This article was first published on and all figures are in USD.

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