Apple snubbed me when I offered to sell them Tesla, says Elon Musk

Apple snubbed me when I offered to sell them Tesla in 2017, says boss Elon Musk, recalling its ‘darkest days’

Tesla boss Elon Musk offered to sell the electric car company to tech giant Apple – but said yesterday that he was snubbed.

The billionaire tweeted that, in 2017, ‘During the darkest days of the Model 3 programme, I reached out to Tim Cook [the Apple boss] to discuss the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla for 1/10 of our current value. He refused to take the meeting.’

Tesla was burning through cash and battling production problems at the time.

‘Darkest days’: Tesla boss Elon Musk claims he approached the iPhone maker’s chief executive, Tim Cook, about a takeover in 2017

It was worth around $60bn (£45billion), whereas Apple reached a market capitalisation of $1trillion (£745billion) that year.

Since then, Tesla has broken into profitability, and its value is just over £450billion. 

This week the car maker joined Apple on the prestigious S&P 500 index, cementing its place as one of America’s blue-chip companies.

At one point the Tesla boss was working 120-hour weeks and slept under his desk at its California factory as he sought to fix production woes with its Model 3 sedan.

Free investing guides

Analysts have previously suggested Apple and Tesla might be a good fit and yesterday’s revelations emerged as Musk, 49, responded to a report that Apple is now seeking to produce its own electric car by 2024.

Commenting on a claim that Apple is developing ‘radical’ new batteries using lithium iron phosphate, the billionaire replied: ‘Strange, if true.

‘Tesla already uses iron-phosphate for medium range cars made in our Shanghai factory.’