Elon Musk says Apple passed on potential deal to acquire Tesla

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk said he once considered selling the electric car maker to Apple, but Tim Cook rejected a request for a meeting.

Mr Musk said he contacted Mr Cook “to discuss the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla (for one-tenth of our current value). He refused to take the meeting”.

Tesla’s market value is 616 billion dollars (£460 billion), as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

Mr Musk said he sought out the meeting with the Apple chief executive “during the darkest days of the Model 3 program”, a reference to Tesla’s first electric car designed for the mass market.

As recently as 2018, Tesla was struggling to meet its vehicle production goals and turn a profit.

Tesla’s fortunes have changed since then and the car manufacturer is finally making money on a consistent basis after years of losses and continues to hit milestones for deliveries of its vehicles.

Its shares have soared 665% this year alone, making it the world’s most valuable automaker and among the top 10 biggest US companies in the S&P 500 index, which Tesla entered on Monday.

Mr Musk’s tweet followed published reports suggesting Apple is working on developing its own electric cars, but Apple declined to comment.