The possibility of Apple entering a new market should make that market’s existing players at least somewhat nervous, but that’s not the case with Tesla. Not only is Elon Musk not concerned about the electric car that Apple is reportedly working on, he even dismissed the former Tesla engineers that Apple has been hiring to work on the car as being unimportant to his company. According to him, the only Tesla engineers that Apple poaches are the ones that didn’t have what it takes to work for his company.
Entrepreneur Elon Musk is apparently unconcerned that Apple could become a potential rival in the electric car space, saying the Cupertino, Calif., tech giant is where former employees go if they “don’t make it” at Tesla. Tesla’s founder told German publication Handelsblatt that engineers poached away by Apple to work on its own electric car program codenamed “Project Titan” were not important to his company. “Important engineers? They have hired people we’ve fired,” Musk said. “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.” When asked if he takes Apple’s automotive ambitions seriously, Musk quipped, “Did you ever take a look at the Apple Watch?” The Tesla chief noted the distinction between producing consumer electronics and an automobile, but failed to explain how one of the world’s largest companies would be unable reproduce or surpass his own success (“success” being a relative term considering Tesla is not expected to turn a profit until 2020).