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Elon Musk says it would be a 'great idea' for Apple to make cars

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Tesla Model X 4
Tesla Model X 4

In an interview with Bloomberg's Betty Liu, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was quizzed on recent rumors that Apple is interested in buying or investing in Tesla. Musk says Apple making cars would probably be "a great idea," and confirms his company "had conversations" with Cupertino, but wouldn't comment on whether they revolved around an acquisition. Liu then outright asks whether Tesla is for sale, to which Musk replies that a sale is "very unlikely." He explains that he would be willing to entertain discussions if he felt a deal would "improve the probability" of Tesla creating a "mass-market ... affordable, compelling electric car," but, as it stands, he doesn't "currently see any scenario that would improve that probability." All told, the acquisition denial comes across as a "not right now," rather than a "no."

Separately in the interview, Musk says his company's new Model X electric car is delayed until 2015. The Model X was originally announced for a 2013 release at $49,900, but was later pushed back to 2014. That date has now slipped to next year. He says that some of the delay is due to him being "a perfectionist when it comes to product design," noting that he isn't "completely happy with the product" right now. "It's damn hard to make an SUV in particular that is beautiful and yet incredibly functional at the same time," Musk explains, "it's a harder design problem than the Model S." He wants the final car to be better than the version unveiled two years ago "in a number of subtle ways." He also adds that the company needed to make sure its "house was in order" with the expansion of Model S sales into Europe and Asia in 2013 and 2014, which was the same reason Tesla gave for delaying the X last year.