Apple’s product lead on MacBook Air & Pro joins Tesla to head up new vehicles

Electric car maker Tesla Motors (s TSLA) announced on Thursday that it has hired Apple’s VP of Mac Hardware Engineering, Doug Field, as its head of developing new vehicles. Field led product development of the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and iMac at Apple and previously started his career at Ford.

At Tesla, Field will help steer the company’s next-generation of vehicles. Tesla plans to start delivering its Model X, crossover SUV, toward the end of next year, and a third more low cost electric car after that. Tesla’s first car was the high-end limited edition Roadster.

While sales of the Model S have been strong — demand is greater than supply — Tesla needs to follow up its success with the Model S with more vehicles. That’s the only way it will be able to transition into a more mainstream auto maker, with a diverse product portfolio, and eventually become profitable on an annual basis.

This isn’t the first time Tesla has hired former Apple execs, and even modeled some of its services and plans off of Apple’s. Apple’s former head of its stores, George Blankenship, joined Tesla and has been crafting its store service experience. Tesla’s stock gained 5.26 percent today, to end the day at $173.15.

By the way, if you’re interested in learning more about the future of Tesla’s products and design, Tesla’s Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen will be speaking at Gigaom’s experience design conference Roadmap, on November 5th and 6th in San Francisco (tickets here).