An Apple Car could have become a reality far sooner if the tech giant’s CEO Tim Cook had taken a call from Tesla boss Elon Musk.
Billionaire Musk has revealed he once contacted Cook as he was considering selling Tesla to Apple, but the Apple CEO refused the meeting.
Musk said he contacted Cook ‘to discuss the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla for one-tenth of our current value. He refused to take the meeting’.
The revelation comes as news emerges Apple’s highly secretive self-driving car project could launch in 2024.
The iPhone maker was believed to have canned its ‘Project Titan’ car project, but Reuters has reported that Apple has still been working on it.
Reports suggest the technology has made enough progress that Apple believes it could aim to build a car for consumers.
Reuters reported that Apple has been secretly testing a car that will be mass marketed and able to be driven as a normal vehicle as well as having self-driving capability – much like Tesla models.
Apple is believed to have also developed a ‘radical’ new battery design that will help reduce the cost of its electric cars too.
If the rumours are true, it would explain why Cook was reluctant to meet Musk.
Tesla’s market value was £460bn at the close of trading yesterday. Its shares have soared 665 per cent this year alone, making it the world’s most valuable car maker.
Musk said he sought out the meeting with the Apple chief executive ‘during the darkest days of the Model 3 program’.
Tesla had a well documented troubled time ramping up production for the smaller Tesla model. With global orders pouring in and hundreds of thousands of deposits, Tesla struggled to increase production to meet the surge in demand.
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Musk admitted he slept at the factory to ensure the production line got up to speed.
Back in 2018, Tesla was still struggling to meet its vehicle production goals and turn a profit.
Since then, Tesla’s fortunes have changed and the car manufacturer is finally making money on a consistent basis after years of losses.
It has impressed investors by hitting milestones for deliveries of its vehicles and is promising new models including a new sports car and the Cyber Truck.
Tesla entered is now the world’s most valuable car maker and among the top 10 biggest US companies in the S&P 500 index, which Tesla entered on Monday.