Elon Musk calls Apple the 'Tesla Graveyard,' pooh-poohs rumored Apple Car

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2015
Entrepreneur Elon Musk is apparently unconcerned that Apple could become a potential rival in the electric car space, saying the Cupertino, Calif., tech giant is where former employees go if they "don't make it" at Tesla.




Tesla's founder told German publication Handelsblatt that engineers poached away by Apple to work on its own electric car program codenamed "Project Titan" were not important to his company.

"Important engineers? They have hired people we've fired," Musk said. "We always jokingly call Apple the 'Tesla Graveyard.' If you don't make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple. I'm not kidding."

When asked if he takes Apple's automotive ambitions seriously, Musk quipped, "Did you ever take a look at the Apple Watch?" The Tesla chief noted the distinction between producing consumer electronics and an automobile, but failed to explain how one of the world's largest companies would be unable reproduce or surpass his own success ("success" being a relative term considering Tesla is not expected to turn a profit until 2020).

"It's good that Apple is moving and investing in this direction. But cars are very complex compared to phones or smartwatches. You can't just go to a supplier like Foxconn and say: Build me a car," he said. "But for Apple, the car is the next logical thing to finally offer a significant innovation. A new pencil or a bigger iPad alone were not relevant enough."

Musk's sentiments are shared by others in the auto industry, including Bob Lutz, who warned that an Apple foray into cars would be a "giant money pit."

It's no secret that Apple and Tesla are vying for each other's engineers, and Musk himself said in May that attrition rates swing in Tesla's favor by a ratio of five to one. Given today's comments, it seems Tesla is getting the better deal since those on the way out are bad apples. At the time, Apple was reportedly offering some Tesla employees $250,000 signing bonuses and 60 percent raises to jump ship.

Apple is thought to be pushing aggressively forward on its car project, with reports earlier this year claiming hundreds of workers are assigned to the job. Despite its size, however, precious few details have leaked. AppleInsider earlier this year revealed Apple is conducting car operations out of a secretive facility in Sunnyvale, Calif., though that could change in the coming months. The company is thinking about building out a dedicated facility on a 43-acre plot of land it owns in San Jose, according to a source familiar with the matter.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 276
    irelandireland Posts: 17,794member

    Now he's just talking crap.

  • Reply 2 of 276
    Heh, I like Elon.
  • Reply 3 of 276
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    F*** this clown.

    Didn't Apple hire his head engineer?

    Speaking of graveyard, where are the profits??
  • Reply 4 of 276
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member

    He's a poker player, that's for sure. Remember the old saying, "never let 'em see you sweat"?

  • Reply 5 of 276
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,167member
    I was skeptic about Apple making a car but his reaction makes me 100% sure Apple is working on one.
  • Reply 6 of 276
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Looks like someone is worried. Apple must be successfully poaching Tesla employees, or at least poaching other people Musk wants. In this interview he threw shade at three different Apple products. What a jerk.
  • Reply 7 of 276
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member

    Why doesn't Apple just buy Tesla?

  • Reply 8 of 276
    ronmgronmg Posts: 163member
    This sours me a bit on Musk. Had some respect for him, but this is just petty and stupid for a leader like him. Why bother? He should take the high road. Oh, and Elon, when you say, "I'm not kidding" It seems you might be protesting too much. Apple's hiring is hitting close to home or he wouldn't be trash talking like this. Cocky SOB.
  • Reply 9 of 276
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    matrix07 wrote: »
    Why doesn't Apple just buy Tesla?

    Why? What is it that Tesla has that Apple couldn't replicate?
  • Reply 10 of 276
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    Why? What is it that Tesla has that Apple couldn't replicate?



    The experience?

  • Reply 11 of 276
    ronmgronmg Posts: 163member
    matrix07 wrote: »
    Why doesn't Apple just buy Tesla?

    Why bother paying for Tesla when you can let them lose money on every car while you hire their talent away from them and take a new and better approach to electric cars?
  • Reply 12 of 276
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RonMG View Post





    Why bother paying for Tesla when you can let them lose money on every car while you hire their talent away from them and take a new and better approach to electric cars?

    If Apple can do that. They have no track record when it comes to car. (I know they didn't for phone either but this is the whole 'nother level.)

  • Reply 13 of 276
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    ronmg wrote: »
    This sours me a bit on Musk. Had some respect for him, but this is just petty and stupid for a leader like him. Why bother? He should take the high road. Oh, and Elon, when you say, "I'm not kidding" It seems you might be protesting too much. Apple's hiring is hitting close to home or he wouldn't be trash talking like this. Cocky SOB.

    Isn't there a saying that you never punch down? Musk wouldn't be throwing shade like this if he wasn't worried about what Apple is doing.
  • Reply 14 of 276
    Whether he's worried or genuinely confident, either way he sounds just like Balmer when he said the iPhone wouldn't amount to anything. Almost sure history will repeat in this industry, just like it still is being played out (successfully and in Apple's favor) in the smart watch area.
  • Reply 15 of 276
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    matrix07 wrote: »
    If Apple can do that. They have no track record when it comes to car. (I know they didn't for phone either but this is the whole 'nother level.)

    What track record did Musk have have when it comes to cars?
  • Reply 16 of 276
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RonMG View Post



    This sours me a bit on Musk. Had some respect for him, but this is just petty and stupid for a leader like him. Why bother? He should take the high road. Oh, and Elon, when you say, "I'm not kidding" It seems you might be protesting too much. Apple's hiring is hitting close to home or he wouldn't be trash talking like this. Cocky SOB.



    His confidence and trash talking is no different from Steve Jobs' trash talking Apple's competition. They all do it.

  • Reply 17 of 276
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    matrix07 wrote: »

    The experience?

    The experience of losing money? Or the experience of having a cult that Apple couldn't even come close to rivaling?
  • Reply 18 of 276
    wigbywigby Posts: 692member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

     

    If Apple can do that. They have no track record when it comes to car. (I know they didn't for phone either but this is the whole 'nother level.)




    Why does everyone say that cars are on another level? They are not. If anything, the tech industry is another whole level. Cars get the same crappy mileage and all look the same for years. Doesn't seem like a particularly demanding bunch of consumers to me. The tech industry demands doubling of horsepower and a brand new design every other year. That takes constant innovation.

  • Reply 19 of 276
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 1,156member
    It's on MF'er. Will see who prevails. Apple has the skill set to make it work.
  • Reply 20 of 276
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    cali wrote: »
    Speaking of graveyard, where are the profits??

    They are making a quality product and investing heavily to further their development. I don't see why we need Tesla to ask like an established company with more profit than it knows what to do with. like Apple or MS. Telsa has been doing fine work, has created an Apple-like mindshare among automobile buyers around the world despite not having the same pervasive coverage or money. That's impressive... and important.

    matrix07 wrote: »
    Why doesn't Apple just buy Tesla?
    matrix07 wrote: »
    The experience?

    How exactly do they buy the experience? Where is this "the experience" patented, copyrighted, trademarked, or in another way protected so that Apple can't offer it to their customers without buying Tesla?

    Let's remember where Musk started with Tesla, what year that was, and how much the landscape has changed for automobiles, EVs, and CE in that time frame, not to mention all those Tesla patents that are available for Apple to use. I don't think Apple will have a problem creating whatever experience they want in an EV since the most important parts of the experience is the UI, where Apple repeatedly dominates.
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