Elon Musk: Apple is the “Tesla Graveyard” for Failed Engineers


Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors, has said in an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt while touring Berlin, that Apple is nothing more than the “Tesla graveyard” where failed employees go to work, while replying to question of the Cupertino company hiring some of its engineers. The electric carmaker’s boss simply shrugged off fears about Apple being a new competitor and said that any Tesla employees it had hired were not important.

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Here’s what he said:

Apple just hired some of Tesla’s most important engineers. Do you have to worry about a new competitor?

Important engineers? 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 also took the opportunity to troll the Apple Watch and the iPad Pro:

Do you take Apple’s ambitions seriously?

Did you ever take a look at the Apple Watch? (laughs) 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. 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.

Well, what do you say about this guys?


  • onz

    elon nailed it

  • sukisszoze

    No CEO, especially one with a public company, is going to say they lost their smart employees to a potential competitor. What he said might just be a motivator for these ‘failed’ engineers. He should also blame these failed engineers for the delays of their new models.

  • Dezumondo

    Very clever spin by Elon. In February 2015, he complained to the media about Apple offering Tesla engineers $250k signing bonuses.

  • Can’t wait to buy a Tesla. Wonder if they take PayPal!

  • Just think back to all the other people who doubted Apple’s disruption, like Steve Balmer. Cars are a different animal, but I am sure Apple is going to take their time to get this right.

  • Joe

    Apple will either make a great car or the project will never amount to anything. One or the other. Lots of CEOs are knocking Apple and that’s totally fine, they could very well be right. A car is a totally different animal than a phone.

    However, one thing’s for sure: Apple won’t release a crappy car. Samsung probably will though: expect it to be announced 6 months after the Apple Car comes out :p

  • Mohammed Al Sarraf

    better if they take Apple Pay 🙂

  • Shameer Mulji

    Also, don’t forget Elon never had any automotive experience prior to Tesla and he definitely didn’t have the financial clout that Apple has with $200 billion in the bank or the brand cachet, yet he seems to be doing quite alright. So knowing that, imagine what Apple can accomplish.

  • But I wanted to use Elon’s invention to pay!

  • Eastvanfan

    Could have thousands of systems that all integrate into a central system. Building a car is integrating all these system together which seems a lot simpler than what it really is.

    Sure Apple has lots of billions of dollars to spend on developing a car but it’s not that simple to produce a car. Elon has himself said it has frustrated him to no end how many things could go wrong. It’ll take longer and be more expensive than they thought.