Elon Musk Ridicules Apple For Hiring Employees That Were Fired By Tesla – The Race To Make Driverless Cars Heating Up?

Elon Musk ridiculed Apple Inc. for hiring Tesla’s rejects. He clearly stated that Apple is considered a “Tesla graveyard,” where the employees that were fired by the Musk’s company end up.

During an interview with German business newspaper Handelsblatt on Thursday, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk launched a scathing attack on Apple Inc.

He did not dilute his sentiments against the iPhone maker by saying, “They have hired people we’ve fired. 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.”

Musk responded with the direct answer when asked if he was worried that Apple Inc. had hired a senior engineer from his electric car making company Tesla Motors Inc. Moreover, when asked his opinions on Apple’s new-found ambition to make driverless cars, his response was even more scathing.

Mocking Apple Inc. Elon Musk remarking, “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.”

Needless to say, Apple has always relied on Taiwanese subcontractor Foxconn to make the products that engineers back at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino conjure up. Musk stressed that unlike small electronics like MP3 players (iPod), smartphones (iPhones), and now smarthwatches (Apple Watch), cars require a completely different process.


Multiple companies are trying to make cars of the future, which would undoubtedly possess the ability to autonomously drive itself. While tech giants like Apple Inc. and Google, which recently presented a prototype of its driverless cars, have the technology, companies like General Motors have more than a century’s worth of experience making cars that sell like hot cakes and look good while being driven.


Interestingly, while Elon Musk did express his dissent about Apple Inc.’s hiring practices, he did admit that Apple developing a car made sense.

“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.”

Incidentally, Musk was in Germany to talk with government representatives about the future of mobility and electric vehicles in the country, reported Engadget. He tried to reason with the regional transportation authorities that electric vehicles need special incentives in order to boost their acceptance. He suggested that electrical vehicles be allowed to use the bus lanes and people purchasing these cars should be extended financial incentives like tax rebates.

Interestingly, Elon Musk didn’t try to sugarcoat his observations when he was asked what the German automakers were doing wrong. He strongly urged the carmakers to “think beyond gasoline as we have reached the limit of what gasoline can do.” Unabashedly, he even put forth the example of Volkswagen, the company that recently admitted to rigging its cars so they passed emissions control tests.

“You see what’s happened with the current diesel scandal at Volkswagen. In order to make progress, they apparently had to cheat. I think if you intentionally mislead governments around the world with software that is designed to only be effective at the test stand, this is a very conscious action.”

Elon Musk may not have liked how Apple Inc. hired Tesla’s rejected employees, but does he does have a valid point about gasoline-powered cars outliving their time?

[Image Credit | Bill Pugliano, Jerry Lampen, Justin Sullivan / Getty Images]