Tesla chief, Elon Musk calls Apple the “Tesla graveyard”

12 Oct 2015


Tesla chief Elon Musk has called Apple the "Tesla graveyard", alleging that many of the tech giant's senior staff are former Tesla employees who failed to make it at his company.

In an interaction with German paper Handelsblatt, Musk blasted claims that many of his high-ranking staff were recruited by Apple.

He 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."

In a stinging comment he also put down Apple Watch and the company's electric car ambitions.

Laughing, he said, "Did you ever take a look at the Apple Watch?"

"No, seriously. 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 continued.

"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."

It was reported last month that Apple had 'committed' to making its own car with the codename 'Project Titan', which could be released as soon as 2019 and to compete with Tesla's cars in the electric car market.

According to commentators, the  reason that so many former Tesla employees worked at Apple could be more complicated than Musk made out. In a 2012 interview with Autoblog, Musk spoke with much prided about the work culture at Tesla.

He said, "If you work for Tesla, the minimum is really a 50-hour week and there are times when it'll be 60-to-80 hour weeks."

Meanwhile, according to commentators, Apple's self-driving car was fast becoming one of the worst-kept secrets in Silicon Valley.

Although it had never been confirmed by the company that it was working on a vehicle, documents accessed by The Guardian in August showed that it was looking for space to test its cars in private, on a 2,100-acre former naval base near San Francisco for that purpose.

The company last month, met with California officials to review the state's autonomous vehicle regulations.

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