Elon Musk, it seems, is not a big fan of Apple Inc. In an interview with the German business newspaper Handelsblatt Thursday, the Tesla Motors CEO hit out at the company, which has, over the past year, recruited several former Tesla engineers.
“We always jokingly call Apple the ‘Tesla Graveyard,’” Musk said, responding to a question about Apple hiring Tesla’s “most important engineers.”
“They have hired people we’ve fired … If you don’t make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple. I’m not kidding,” he added.
Earlier this year, Reuters reported that Apple had hired more than 60 former Tesla employees, including several hardware, software, manufacturing and supply chain engineers. The move is being seen as Apple’s attempts toward studying self-driving technology and electric cars, and developing such a vehicle over the next few years.
According to a recent report by the Wall Street Journal, the iPhone maker has been ramping up its efforts to build an electric car, and has designated it internally as a “committed project.” The company plans to launch the car in 2019, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
When asked about Apple’s alleged foray into the electric car market, Musk said it was “the next logical thing to finally offer a significant innovation.”
“It’s good that Apple is moving and investing in this direction,” he said. “But cars are very complex compared to phones or smartwatches. You can’t just go to a supplier like Foxconn and say -- Build me a car.”
In the interview, Musk also took a swipe at German carmakers, who, he said, are “not accepting the future.”
“The country was a pioneer in internal combustion technology. But if you cling to the past, you won’t get to the future. It’s time to start building a fundamentally new generation of cars,” he said. “You see what’s happened with the current diesel scandal at Volkswagen. In order to make progress, they apparently had to cheat.”