Chrysler's Doug Betts joins Apple: reports

Former Chrysler group executive Doug Betts has joined iPhone-maker Apple Inc, the auto industry veteran's LinkedIn profile revealed.

According to his account on the social networking site for professionals, he joined the Cupertino, California-based company with the title of 'Operations - Apple Inc' in July.

His online profile did not offer much detail about the move but stated Betts' location to be San Francisco Bay Area.

Betts, vacated is role of head of quality at Chrysler Group last year to "pursue other interests."

In his 25 years in the auto industry, Betts had worked in companies including Toyota and Nissan.

Analysts and investors had been touting car manufacturing as the iPhone company's next growth avenue.

Apple, which is not forthcoming about its projects, fuelled speculation in May, when a senior executive said developing a car would be the "ultimate mobile device.

According to commentators, Apple's push towards developing its own cars was continuing with the hiring of auto industry veteran Doug Betts, a few months after taking on Paul Furgale, another expert from Switzerland (See: Apple working on electric car: report).

In a recent report, Business Insider said, Apple was working on something that would give ''Tesla a run for its money''.

It emerged in February that Apple was targeting 2020 as a time for its electric cars to come on stream, with the vehicles expected to cost less than $40,000 and to go more than 200 miles (321km) on a single charge.

What this meant was Apple and Google were once again seeking common ground in which to battle for supremacy. Meanwhile, Google was already trialing its self-driving cars on public roads.

Experts point out that there were other areas of the automotive industry in which the tech giants could compete, areas like dashboards, where iOS and Android options were now becoming key decisions for car buyers.