I wanted to sell Tesla to Apple, but I couldn’t

Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the Axel Springer Awards ceremony in Berlin, Germany, on December 1, 2020.

Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the Axel Springer Awards ceremony in Berlin, Germany, on December 1, 2020.
Photo: Britta Pedersen / AFP (Getty Images)

Electric carmaker Tesla is growing, with a market cap of $ 606.9 billion and a share price that rose 813% this year. But Elon Musk indeed he wanted to sell the company to Apple at a time when Tesla was struggling. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO since 2011, wouldn’t even sit down with Musk to discuss the possibility – at least that’s Musk’s story.

“In the darkest days of the Model 3 program, we contacted Tim Cook to discuss the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla (for 1/10 of our current value). He refused to take the meeting “, Musk posted on Twitter Tuesday.

The “darkest days” are probably sometime in 2018, when Musk’s company struggled to meet production goals for Model 3. It was a difficult time for Musk and Tesla, with terrible reports about Autopilot failures, insecurity investigations work conditions, and some old-fashioned Union for good measure.

And Musk’s problems that year were not limited to Model 3. He risked his security clearance with SpaceX and the Air Force after being seen smoking grass on Joe Rogan’s podcast, he randomly called a poor guy a pedophile, was hit with lawsuits against him weird tweets, announced a high speed tunnel in Chicago that it didn’t go anywhere, and it was uniform sued by the SEC.

Musk has been desperate for money to float Tesla several times over the past decade and turned to a number of different sources when he needed the money. And Apple it was far from the first reputable technology company that had no real interest in buying Tesla.

As the guardian notes, Google co-founder Larry Page almost bought Tesla during a “handshake deal” in April 2013, according to Musk’s 2015 biography. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the search for a fantastic future by Ashlee Vance. The asking price was $ 6 billion, according to the book, but Musk wanted to remain head of the company for at least eight years and get $ 5 billion to expand Tesla’s factories, which apparently did not attract Google’s lawyers.

Musk didn’t actually create Tesla, despite the popular perception he did. The company was founded in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, and Musk first invested in the company in 2004, although the billionaire is still co-founder. Eberhard and Tarpenning were fired from the company by Musk in the late 2000s, and Eberhard sued co-founder SpaceX (Musk actually created it) for slander and breach of contract. The lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount.

Currently, Tesla is doing very well financially, becoming the latest company to enter the S&P 500. But we believe that Apple will survive without Tesla. Yes, Apple is still working on a standalone machine set for 2024 According to a new report released this week, but even without a car, Apple is making historic profits.

Apple recorded revenue of $ 64.7 billion only in the last quarter, even during an economic recession and a terrible pandemic. Apple will probably be very good for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean Tim Cook isn’t hitting.