When asked about the fact Apple kept hiring Tesla engineers, Musk didn’t bother to spare anyone’s feelings:
“They have hired people we’ve fired,” Musk 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.”
On the concept of Apple building a car at all, he agreed it was “the next logical thing” for the iPhone giant. But he didn’t seem to take Apple’s plans too seriously as a threat to Tesla.
“Did you ever take a look at the Apple Watch?” Musk said. “No, seriously: It’s good that Apple is moving and investing in this direction. But cars are very complex compared to phones or smartwatches.”
It’s a bit of a departure for Musk. In 2014, Musk confirmed that the two companies were in possible acquisition talks, but nothing came of it.
And just this past May, Musk said it would be “great” if Apple entered the car business. But at that same presentation, Musk also said no Tesla engineers were leaving for Apple. The fact Tesla has started to lose employees to Apple could explain why Musk has changed his tune.
Meanwhile, given that Apple is the most valuable company in the world, and hiring engineers and robotics experts like crazy to further its automotive dreams, Musk could end up eating his words.