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Apple CEO ignored meeting request to discuss Tesla sale, Musk says

Tesla CEO Elon MuskElon Reeve MuskNASA picks Elon Musk's SpaceX to build spacecraft for manned moon missions Why does Bernie Sanders want to quash Elon Musk's dreams? Hillicon Valley: Intel heads to resume threats hearing scrapped under Trump | New small business coalition to urge action on antitrust policy | Amazon backs corporate tax hike to pay for infrastructure MORE said Tuesday he once considered selling Tesla to Apple, but claimed CEO Tim Cook “refused” to take a meeting to discuss the sale. 

Musk’s comments about the sale during the “darkest days of the Model 3 program,” referring to Tesla’s first electric car designed for the mass market, was in response to a report about Apple’s goals to have its own self-driving cars on the market by 2024. 

“During the darkest days of the Model 3 program, I reached out to Tim Cook to discuss the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla (for 1/10 of our current value). He refused to take the meeting,” Musk tweeted. 

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Tesla reportedly struggled to turn a profit and meet its vehicle production goals in 2017 and 2018, but has since had a string of quarterly profits. 

Tesla’s shares have soared 665 percent this year, making it the world’s most valuable automaker. It is one of the 10 biggest U.S. companies in the S&P 500 index, The Associated Press noted. 

Apple revealed its efforts to develop self-driving automobile technology to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2016. The tech giant told the agency it was “investing heavily in machine learning and autonomous systems.” 

Two unnamed sources familiar with Apple’s plans told Reuters that the tech giant is aiming to have its self-driving car on the market in four years and it could include a new battery design optimized for longer ranges.  

A spokesperson for Apple was not immediately available for comment.