Cathie Wood says Apple should’ve bought Tesla, but ‘we’re happy they didn’t’

Closely watched cash supervisor Cathie Wood advised CNBC on Wednesday that Apple may have owned the driverless automobile market by buying Tesla when given the possibility in the course of the electrical automobile maker's troubled Model 3 ramp-up.

"We've been watching Apple very carefully for years now. Because what is an autonomous vehicle? It's the ultimate mobile device," she stated in a wide-ranging "Squawk Box" interview, throughout which additionally she talked about her Ark Invest methods, the returns she expects long-term, and shopping for Zoom on its current drop.

Apple shares hit all-time highs final Friday after which once more Monday — rising solidly above $2.5 trillion in market worth — following final week's Bloomberg report in regards to the tech large accelerating efforts to launch a self-driving automobile. Apple was not instantly accessible to answer CNBC's request for remark about its autonomous ambitions. Tesla was not instantly accessible both to touch upon Wood's feedback.

"This is very hard work — and with all the management turnover, we'd be surprised if they're able to pull it off that quickly," Wood stated, referring to a Bloomberg report in June in regards to the departures at Apple's autonomous unit of three prime managers. In 2018, Apple lured Doug Field, then Tesla's senior VP of engineering, again to the corporate the place he had beforehand labored. Apple additionally employed myriad different former Tesla workers.

Wood — a longtime Tesla uber-bull and shareholder and believer in CEO Elon Musk — advised CNBC, "This should have been Apple's market. Apple should have bought Tesla, actually when they were given the opportunity. We're happy they didn't."

Musk revealed, in a tweet in December 2020, that he reached out to Apple CEO Tim Cook "during the darkest days for the Model 3 program" about the potential of promoting Tesla "(for 1/10 of our current value)." Musk stated Cook "refused to take the meeting."

The first Model 3s, a inexpensive EV sedan aimed toward mass-market automotive consumers, have been delivered in 2017, after growing manufacturing to satisfy demand was problematic. In 2018, Musk tweeted that the automotive enterprise was "hell" and that he was sleeping on the manufacturing facility to attempt to resolve the issues.

Fast-forward to right now, Tesla has joined the $1 trillion market cap membership, and Musk, the most important shareholder within the EV firm, has been promoting billions of {dollars} of his inventory holdings.

Wood advised CNBC she sees "nothing wrong" with Musk promoting inventory and taking income and paying billions of {dollars} in tax payments associated to inventory possibility grants.

Regulatory filings late Tuesday confirmed that Musk exercised choices to purchase 2.15 million shares of Tesla and offered 934,091 shares value simply over $1 billion. Since his Twitter ballot on Nov. 6, asking whether or not he ought to promote inventory, Musk has unloaded 9.2 million shares value $9.9 billion.

— Reuters contributed to this report.

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