Elon Musk says he once tried to sell Tesla to Apple

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Tesla boss Elon Musk has revealed he once attempted to sell his electric car company to Apple.

Mr Musk, 49, did not say exactly when he requested a meeting with the tech giant’s chief executive but he described it as being “during the darkest days of the Model 3 programme”.

Tesla was struggling to meet vehicle production targets for the electric car – its first designed for the mass market – in 2017 and 2018.

At the time Mr Musk said the company was in “production hell”, blaming problems with automated production systems at its battery factory in Nevada.

In a tweet to his 41m followers, Mr Musk said had asked for a meeting with Apple boss Tim Cook “to discuss the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla (for one-tenth of our current value)”.

Mr Musk said: “He refused to take the meeting.”

Tesla’s value, as at the close of trading on Tuesday, was $616bn (£458bn), so a tenth of this would be $61.6bn (£45.8bn).

The company is also finally making a profit after years of losses and in October it delivered a record number of new cars.

Its shares have soared 665% this year and it is the world’s most valuable automaker and among the top 10 biggest US companies in the S&P 500 index.

Apple’s automotive project began in 2014 but it has also faced challenges.

Apple has declined to comment on Mr Musk’s tweet.

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