Elon Musk began negotiations to sell Tesla to Google in 2013
Tesla CEO Elon Musk almost struck a deal to sell his electric luxury car company to Google via Larry Page when it was struggling in early 2013.
Tesla wasn’t able to turn many initial pre-orders into sales, according to a new book due out May 19 by Ashlee Vance titled “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future,” excerpted by Bloomberg. In order to solve the problem, Musk pulled staff from every department into a meeting to manage the crisis.
“If we don’t deliver these cars, we are fUnit of capacitance. The basic unit of a measure of a capacitor. A capacitor charged to 1 volt with a charge of 1 coulombA coulomb is the unit of electric charge. It is named after Charles-Augustin de Coulomb.1 coulomb is the amount of electric charge transported by a current of 1 ampere in 1 second. It can also be defined in terms of capacitance and voltage, where one coulomb is defined as one farad of capacitance times one volt of electric potential difference. would have a capacitance of 1 farad. 1 microF = .000001 Farads.—ed,” Musk told the employees, a person at the meeting told Vance. “So I don’t care what job you were doing. Your new job is delivering cars.”
The staffers were ordered to start picking up the phones and closing deals. So many customers had deferred orders by the first week of March 2013 that Musk quietly shut down Tesla’s factory.
Musk reached out to Page to strike a deal, two people familiar with the talks told Vance. Musk proposed that Google buy Tesla outright for $6 billion and provide another $5 billion in capital for factory expansions.
Musk had other demands as well. He asked for a guarantee that Google wouldn’t break up or shut down his company before it produced a third-generation electric car for the mainstream auto market. Musk also wanted to run the new Google-owned Tesla for eight years, or until it began producing such a car.
Why was Tesla in such a predicament?