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Elon Musk was just a few weeks away from selling Tesla to Google in 2013

By Shawn Knight ยท 8 replies
Apr 20, 2015
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  1. elon musk tesla google larry page acquisition electric car model s spacex

    Although still a relative newcomer with just a handful of vehicles in its stable, Tesla Motors – and by proxy, Elon Musk – is now regarded as one of the most influential figures in technology. Few realize, however, that his coveted electric vehicle business was on the verge of bankruptcy just two years ago.

    In an excerpt from the upcoming book Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, sources familiar with the matter claim that upon learning just how bad off the company was in early 2013, Musk assembled a team comprised of employees from nearly every division within Tesla and instructed them to close sales from people that had reserved Teslas but hadn't yet pulled the trigger.

    A substantial restructuring was also put into motion but in the meantime, Musk was working on a backup plan. People familiar with the matter said Musk reached out to Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page regarding a potential acquisition.

    The two sides surprisingly got pretty far into negotiations before the whole thing was called off. Musk wanted Google to pay $6 billion to buy Tesla outright and fork over another $5 billion in capital for factory expansions. Musk further demanded that Google not break up or shut down the company before it had the opportunity to build its mainstream electric car.

    Page reportedly agreed and shook on the deal. Fortunately for Tesla, however, specific terms regarding financial demands kept lawyers on both sides busy for a bit.

    In the meantime, Tesla’s heavy push to sell cars started paying off in a big way. The sinking company managed to sell enough cars in the quarter to turn an $11 million profit. Share value skyrocketed on the news which allowed the company to repay its $465 million loan from the U.S Department of Energy, with interest. The acquisition was off the table.

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  2. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,875   +1,206

    Cool story. Looking at the stock price in 2013, it was worth $35 in Jan and $150 in Dec.
  3. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,270

    Now this man is more of a visionary and genius to me than Steve Jobs ever was... and him being a South African makes me even more proud... Not that I have anything against other nationalities, I'm just patriotic.
    SirChocula and ETF Soldier like this.
  4. treeski

    treeski TS Evangelist Posts: 989   +231

  5. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,875   +1,206

    I'm not trying to disagree, and you won't catch me sticking up for Jobs too often, but they're not really very comparable. Steve Jobs built Apple, literally started making the computers and then (after getting fired and re-hired) held to the standard that exists today. Steve was also a huge jerk.
    Elon is a businessman, a really really good one. He strikes me as a good guy, but I honestly don't know much about him other than he's recently divorced. He didn't however, start Tesla the way Jobs started Apple. Musk made his fortune in Paypal and used it to invest in and take charge of Tesla (before it was called Tesla) and helped bring it into where it is today. The high-performance electric car that preceded the Tesla roadster had already been invented by the time he showed up.
    If you want to compare them as visionaries for the future of technology, then I'd say they are both some of the best of our generation.
    H3llion, Julio Franco and ETF Soldier like this.
  6. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,270

    I don't disagree with you at all. I'm not down on Jobs because I don't like his company, Apple, in fact he is somebody to admire and respect, he made his fortune the hard way and that's noble in itself.
    Most extremely wealthy, successful businessmen (and women) are the most ruthless, unlikeable characters you could ever wish to meet, they didn't get to where they are/were playing Mr Nice Guy but that doesn't apply to them all.
    ETF Soldier likes this.
  7. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,215   +177

    Lawyers. Period. What else can I say about those people?

    Despite looking towards Space, Elon Musk seems to be a down to Earth kind of person. :) I thought that the quote used for his likeness in the Simpsons was pretty funny as well. Lisa said, "For a man who likes electric cars, he sure burns a lot of rocket fuel."

    I enjoyed his TED Talk a few years back. And I look forward to buying one of his more affordable Tesla cars in the future. I hear that his current line-up of cars are on a make to order basis with a 6 week waiting list!


    But, I wonder where these rumors of Apple buying Tesla are coming from, and if there's any substance behind them?
    H3llion and ETF Soldier like this.
  8. Adam1

    Adam1 TS Rookie Posts: 28

    Better than apple
  9. bruma

    bruma TS Rookie

    Time will tell...

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