Editor in Chief
- Dec 30, 2010
- Reaction score
- Austin, TX
Here's an interesting bit of tech history that never came to be. According to sources at Bloomberg, Google almost bought Tesla from Elon Musk in 2013. Supposedly, Tesla was on the verge of bankruptcy, and Elon Musk was courting Google for a buyout in which he would stay on to run things. Apparently, Musk was willing to sell the company to Google for $6 Billion dollars, plus another $5 Billion in capital for factory expansions. Here's a quote with more of the details,
In the first week of March 2013, Musk reached out to Page, say the two people familiar with the talks. By that point, so many customers were deferring orders that Musk had quietly shut down Tesla’s factory. Considering his straits, Musk drove a hard bargain. He proposed that Google buy Tesla outright — with a healthy premium, the company would have cost about $6 billion at the time — and pony up another $5 billion in capital for factory expansions. He also wanted guarantees that Google wouldn’t break up or shut down his company before it produced a third-generation electric car aimed at the mainstream auto market. He insisted that Page let him run a Google-owned Tesla for eight years, or until it began pumping out such a car. Page accepted the overall proposal and shook on the deal.
Before even going to Page, Musk fired a bunch of senior level executives and promoted some hungry junior employees to help revitalize things and rebuild Tesla's image by improving sales, repair service and customer service. He also kicked off a program regarding the resale price of the Model S. He made a public guarantee that unsatisfied buyers would get their money back from Musk personally if they could not sell their car at a comparable price to other luxury cars.
In the end, Musk's desperate moves started to turn things around for Tesla before the sell-out to Google could be finalized. Below is a quote with the final details of how things ended,
While the two companies were negotiating, Tesla’s frenzy of sales calls began to pay off, and a lot more people started buying the Model S. With its quarter drawing to a close and two weeks worth of cash in its coffers, Tesla began selling thousands of cars, enough to post an $11 million quarterly profit on $562 million in revenue.
Within two weeks of that announcement, the company’s shares had doubled, and Tesla had repaid its $465 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy early, with interest. Musk broke off his negotiations with Google. He no longer needed a savior.
What do you guys think of this different future we almost had? Would Google and Tesla have been a good fit?