Apple’s merger and acquisitions chief Adrian Perica and Tesla Motor’s chief executive Elon Musk met last year, suggesting that the iPhone maker may expand its business to electric cars.
Considering Apple has announced plans to better integrate iOS into car dashboard screens and has partnered with Ferrari, it seems likely that the Silicon Valley giant would be interested in Tesla.
The meeting was reported Sunday by The San Francisco Chronicle, which cited an anonymous source. The paper also noted that Apple is interested in medical devices, specifically those that can predict heart attacks.
Apple’s interest in electric cars and medical devices signal that the company wants to expand and take risks beyond the iPad and iPhone, as Wall Street analysts have speculated in the past.
Adnaan Ahmad, an investment bank analyst in Germany, wrote an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook in October suggesting that Apple buy Tesla. He argued that the electric car industry could provide long-term revenue growth unlike smartphones and tablets.
“I know this is radical and potentially 'transformative',” Ahmad wrote, “but this would radically alter Apple's growth profile.”
Neither Tesla nor Apple have commented on the alleged merger.
The New York state legislature is considering a bill that would prohibit the registration of any vehicle sold without an independent third party or car dealer.
Currently the state assembly is in the process of passing the bill. As Tesla CEO, Elon Musk tweets, “NY Assembly passing bill to shut down Tesla, but Senate holding the line. Appreciate senators resisting influence of auto dealer lobby."
The auto dealer lobby has been quietly pushing Assembly bill A07844 and State bill S05725, which would prohibit companies like Tesla from selling their car products directly to the consumer. The fight between the dealers’ lobby and Tesla began in 2012 when the lobby filed suit against Tesla under the Franchised Moto Vehicle Dealer Act, which allows state oversight in the sale of cars. The lobby lost the suit when the state Supreme Court ruled that Tesla was merely a competitor being strong-armed out of the market.
Since then, the fight has ensued with the lobby acting more like an oligopoly. The lobby has national support from other dealers concerned with the effectiveness of Tesla’s new sales strategy. The Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers and the Global Alliance of Manufacturers both claim to support the legislation in New York.
Dealers in both Massachusetts and Texas are also challenging Tesla. It is clear from the energy, time and resources expended in fighting Tesla just how revolutionary and threatening dealers find this new business model.
Meanwhile stock prices are up 500 percent since June 2010 and are trading at an astronomical $99.5 a share. The car itself rates at 99 out of 100 in the Consumer Ratings Report.
CEO Elon Musk sums up, “I'm having a lot more fun these days."
A bill that passed in the North Carolina Senate this week aims to prevent all car manufacturers from bypassing third-party dealers to sell their vehicles, a sales tactic Sentator Tom Apodaca referred to as “unfair competition”
The bill mostly targets Tesla Motors, whose business relies on selling cars directly to customers rather than through dealerships. It would also prevent manufacturers from selling their product independently online.
The bill is being encouraged by North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association, a group that contributed to Apodaca’s Senate campaign.
The company also faces legal barriers in Texas, where showroom employees are forbidden to sell any vehicles, offer test drives or tell customers how much a car costs.
Diarmuid O’Connell, Telsa’s vice president, said he believes the laws were not created with consumers in mind. Telsa’s progressive business model is a threat to larger franchise dealers.
“How do you sell the future if your business depends on the present?” He argued, saying small business will suffer under the North Carolina law.
Tesla made $11.2 million last quarter on its Model S, which ranges in price between $49,900 and $97,900 and received a rare perfect rating from Consumer Reports.
The Model S also outsold the Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7 Series and Audi A8 last quarter.