Elon Reeve Musk said Tuesday that he wanted to sell Tesla to Apple during the “darkest days” of the Model 3 rollout but that CEO Tim Cook “refused” to take the meeting. “I reached out to Tim Cook to discuss the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla (for 1/10 of our current value),” Musk said in a tweet. “He refused to take the meeting.”
Tesla’s current market value is about $600 billion, so Musk is talking about Apple spending around $60 billion, which was more or less what Tesla’s valuation was for a number of years. That’s also a number that Apple could easily afford, and indeed might’ve been a great investment for them back in 2017 or 2018, when this theoretical meeting might have occurred.
Musk made the claim in response to a post about a Reuters report published Monday. Apple is planning to introduce a mass-market automobile that will make use of new battery technology, according to the Reuters report, which cites anonymous sources.
Musk said on Twitter the Reuters report was “strange, if true” and added in a second tweet that he approached Cook about a possible sale during the early days of Tesla’s Model 3 program, the mid-market sedan that hit the market in 2017. The Model 3 suffered months of manufacturing difficulties and other issues, including cars being assembled in a tent next to Tesla’s Fremont, California factory. The Model 3 is now the best-selling luxury car in America, fueling Tesla’s rise to the most valuable automaker in the world