With its line up of high end electric vehicles, Tesla has been defined by success. But 2013 was a different year for the EV company – it was the year Musk nearly sold it to Google.
In Ashlee Vance’s biography on the tech giant, Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, we get a glimpse of a part of the company’s history a few of us knew before now.
When Tesla Model S entered the market in 2012, there was poor reception as it didn’t meet the expectation of its first customers who wanted “a computer on wheels”, as well as other features available in rival luxury brands. The poor sale turnout persisted despite the fact that, according to the biography, the car’s “safety elements, software, and interior room were better than those of most luxury cars.”
In 2013, Elon Musk planned a deal with Larry Page, CEO of Google, to sell Tesla for 6 billion dollars in exchange of a few conditions.
Part of the deal involved a guarantee that Musk would still work in the company for eight years since they were developing and planning on releasing a third-gen electric car for the masses.
Musk didn’t initially know how bad the problem was since the executives hid it from him. It was no surprise that he called every employee from every department in a meeting to help out in closing sales.
“If we don’t deliver these cars, we are f—ed. So I don’t care what job you were doing. Your new job is delivering cars.”
The deal took its time because both tech giants couldn’t agree on certain financial considerations.
Fortunately, the company experienced an increase in sales, enough that it no longer had to sell to Google.