Tesla’s situation in early 2013 was dire: the company’s electric cars failed to appeal to consumers at the time and it struggled to turn preorders of its vehicles into sales. As the company went through a downward slope towards bankruptcy, Elon Musk decided to convince his friend and Google CEO, Larry Page, to buy the company for $11 billion in addition to $5 billion of its factory expenses.
Although it had spent years designing its flagship Model S, there were several things that needed to be taken into consideration, including parking sensors and radar-assisted cruise control which many of its well-established competitors like BMW and Mercedes-Benz had in their vehicles. While its safety elements, software, and interior room fared better than most luxury cars, buyers were irked by glitches with the model’s door handle as well as it’s overall design, which included sun visors with unsightly seams.
Former Tesla engineer Ali Javidan, according to Bloomberg, said that the problem was largely due to lack of resources. He states that Musk chose to “implement things as best and as fast as [he] could”. Another issue, says chief designer Franz von Holzhausen, was the fact that the company struggled to convince top top-rate suppliers to take them seriously, which compelled Tesla to use “a third-rate supplier” and, particularly with the sun visors, “work on fixing the situation after the car had already started shipping”.
Bloomberg points out that during talks between the two CEOs, Musk supposedly asked Page to either guarantee him another eight years running the company or allow him sufficient time to develop a third generation mainstream electronic car.
Despite Page reportedly accepting and shaking on the proposal, the deal never bore fruit. Within the span of a few weeks, shocked everyone by reporting its first-ever quarterly profit which marked the firm’s ascension in the industry. Tesla even paid back its debts to the Department of Energy and had its share price rise to roughly more than $200.
Musk has since allegedly broke off the deal with Google.
Rumored to be interested in buying Tesla, Apple is currently working to develop a car. Investors estimate that if Apple were to buy Tesla, it would have to pay $75 billion in a deal very different to the one proposed to Google.