Elon Musk welcomes rumored 'Apple Car,' reveals Tesla-to-Apple poaching at about 5:1

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2015
During electric car maker Tesla's quarterly earnings call on Wednesday, company founder and entrepreneur Elon Musk said it would be great to see Apple enter the automotive industry, while allaying concerns that the Cupertino tech giant's poaching operations posed a threat to his company.




Musk's statement came in response to an analyst question regarding the potential negative effects an "Apple Car" would have on Tesla's business model. With an unmatched ability to consumerize nascent technologies and reports of engineer poaching, some are concerned Apple's supposed interest in electric cars could be a major problem for Tesla.

"I actually hope Apple gets into the car business, that would be great," Musk said.

As for employee poaching, Musk said Tesla is not seeing significant attrition of engineers to Apple. He offered up a ballpark figure, saying that over the past 12 months Tesla has wooed about five times as many engineers from Apple than the other way around. Earlier this year, Musk said Apple was trying "very hard" to poach Tesla engineers for a secret project, in some cases offering $250,000 signing bonuses and 60 percent raises for the opportunity.

Apple is rumored to be working on an automotive initiative codenamed "Titan," with reports earlier this year claiming hundreds of workers have already been assigned the job. The project remains shrouded in mystery, though some believe Apple is working to build a full-fledged electric car.

However, it is more likely that Titan is associated with advanced CarPlay integration or a program to enhance Apple Maps with 3D street imagery. Lending credence to the latter theory are mysterious Apple vans carrying high-tech surveying equipment akin to Google's Street View vehicles. First spotted tootling around the San Francisco Bay Area in February, Apple vans have been seen across the U.S.

An AppleInsider investigation revealed Apple's top-secret project is likely being run out of unmarked warehouses in Sunnyvale, Calif.

For the first quarter, Tesla raked in $1.1 billion in sales to post a loss of 50 cents per share, beating Street consensus.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 169
    snovasnova Posts: 1,281member

    it would be interesting if that happened.  Partnership might be best for both parties.  All the best to Mr. Musk 

  • Reply 2 of 169
    thewhitefalconthewhitefalcon Posts: 4,453member
    snova wrote: »
    it would be interesting if that happened.  Partnership might be best for both parties.  All the best to Mr. Musk 

    That's not what Musk wants. Remember, all the tech was opensourced.

    Apple's R&D spending is in line with what it costs to develop a car, that much I know.
  • Reply 3 of 169
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Maybe it's just me but I think it's really unclassy to talk about how many employees your poaching from another company on earnings call.
  • Reply 4 of 169
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,416member
    While I am dubious about the worth of his company and will never plan on owning a Tesla unless it offers CarPlay, I have to say that I really like this guy's style. He's not defensive in the least, he's passionate, and (mostly) tells it like he sees it.
  • Reply 5 of 169
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,416member
    rogifan wrote: »
    Maybe it's just me but I think it's really unclassy to talk about how many employees your poaching from another company on earnings call.

    It's probably the case that he was specifically asked about it. (The article does not say, and the transcript is not available yet).
  • Reply 6 of 169
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,449member
    Go on Tim, buy Tesla and SpaceX and put Elon on the board in some powerful position. :)
  • Reply 7 of 169
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    That's not what Musk wants. Remember, all the tech was opensourced.

    Apple's R&D spending is in line with what it costs to develop a car, that much I know.

    One Apple employee rumored to be working on this car project recently updated his LinkedIn profile. It now references a "future Apple product line".

    https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10250168&authType=name&authToken=vXbm&trk=prof-sb-browse_map-name&_mSplash=1
    Manage a growing team of >10 direct and matrix reports in the design, development and implementation of a future Apple product line. Interface daily with cross-functional team of ID, EE, module engineers and PMs.

    Neil Cybart at Above Avalon also thinks Apple is working on something big based on the big quarterly increases in R&D spending.

    http://www.aboveavalon.com/notes/2015/5/3/significant-rd-increase-suggests-apple-is-working-on-something-big

    ?format=1000w
  • Reply 8 of 169
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    It's probably the case that he was specifically asked about it. (The article does not say, and the transcript is not available yet).

    Even if he was specifically asked he doesn't have to answer the question.
  • Reply 9 of 169
    spodspod Posts: 27member
    Elon Musk said it would be great to see Apple enter the automotive industry

    Umm, I remember when IBM released their first PC to compete with the Apple II. Apple ran an advertising campaign "Welcome IBM. Seriously." We all know what happened in the following decade! Be careful what you say cos Apple might be the beneficiary this time!
  • Reply 10 of 169
    ecatsecats Posts: 272member

    Talent constantly moves between companies, Elon needs to give up his fixation on staff moving between Tesla and Apple as some kind of reflection on each company.

     

    Other than the 5:1 ratio being meaningless (after all, it could mean as few as 6 people) it also doesn't paint much of a picture because Apple have 10x the staff of Tesla.

     

    If you compare this as a percent of staff moving from one company to the other, twice as much are moving away from Tesla to Apple.

    The point I'm making is that talking about staff moving between companies is irrelevant and entirely spin, so why is Elon being so defensive.

  • Reply 11 of 169
    ronmgronmg Posts: 163member
    ecats wrote: »
    Talent constantly moves between companies, Elon needs to give up his fixation on staff moving between Tesla and Apple as some kind of reflection on each company.

    Other than the 5:1 ratio being meaningless (after all, it could mean as few as 6 people) it also doesn't paint much of a picture because Apple have 10x the staff of Tesla.

    If you compare this as a percent of staff moving from one company to the other, twice as much are moving away from Tesla to Apple.
    The point I'm making is that talking about staff moving between companies is irrelevant and entirely spin, so why is Elon being so defensive.

    Also don't forget that poaching is more about quality vs. quantity. Who cares about 5:1 if Apple is hand picking the top talent from Tesla and Tesla is reciprocating with going after a ton of lower level engineers?
  • Reply 12 of 169
    kpluckkpluck Posts: 500member

    Apple won't have to worry about poaching employees once Tesla starts to circle the drain. Two years...tops, Tesla employees will be leaving en masse.

     

    -kpluck

  • Reply 13 of 169
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,763member
    rogifan wrote: »
    Even if he was specifically asked he doesn't have to answer the question.

    ecats wrote: »
    So why is Elon being so defensive.
    I have not read anything else about this so like all of us here, I can only offer conjecture.
    However, it is not hard to imagine a question or a line of questioning that would force Musk to be "defensive."

    Imagine the question was: "Report after report show that Tesla is bleeding engenieers to Apple, how is Tesla going to stay competitive while losing its top talent?"

    There is no way to answer the above question without being "defensive." And to say that it is unseemly to discuss this in an earnings call is not fair because if he did not address this question he would look as if he were hiding something.

    Why are we being so defensive?
  • Reply 14 of 169
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,416member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    Even if he was specifically asked he doesn't have to answer the question.

    You're making too big a deal of it. Tesla is a $30B company. Apple is nearly 25x the size.

     

    It's alright to take a potshot.

  • Reply 15 of 169
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,416member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post



    Why are we being so defensive?

    ^^

  • Reply 16 of 169
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,985member
    Go on Tim, buy Tesla and SpaceX and put Elon on the board in some powerful position. :)

    Men like Musk can't be anywhere else but on top.
  • Reply 17 of 169
    spodspod Posts: 27member
    Elon Musk said it would be great to see Apple enter the automotive industry

    Umm, I remember when IBM released their first PC to compete with the Apple II. Apple ran an advertising campaign "Welcome IBM, Seriously." Not long after that Apple was in decline. Elon better not be too welcoming!
  • Reply 18 of 169
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,152member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kpluck View Post

     

    Apple won't have to worry about poaching employees once Tesla starts to circle the drain. Two years...tops, Tesla employees will be leaving en masse.

     

    -kpluck




    So now we've moved on from the discussion groups being infested with Apple hating trolls to Tesla hating trolls?? Good grief...

     

    You're spewing the same shit all these idiots have been saying for years about Apple, just now you're doing it towards Tesla, despite the fact their popularity is higher than ever, unbelievable.

  • Reply 19 of 169
    cash907cash907 Posts: 893member
    rogifan wrote: »
    Even if he was specifically asked he doesn't have to answer the question.
    Actually, it generally doesn't go over well with investors when bosses dodge questions like that. This wasn't a PR piece, this was an investors call between top brass and the people who actually have money invested in the company. Concerns regarding poaching could affect investor confidence, and lower the stock price. Concerns he clearly eleviated with his reply, as is his job. Whether it was "classy" or not is completely irrelevant.
  • Reply 20 of 169
    cash907cash907 Posts: 893member
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    Men like Musk can't be anywhere else but on top.
    How many boards did Jobs sit on? Kind of a silly statement don't you think?
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