Today, it's hard to fathom the idea of Elon Musk's Tesla being sold to another company. A couple of years ago, though? With tepid sales, it almost seemed certain that the company would be folding - and as we can now see, it did almost result in Tesla being sold. And to none other than Google.
This is something that's detailed in the upcoming book Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future in great detail. In May of 2013, Tesla surprised the world by turning a profit, thanks to increased demand for its excellent Model S, a car that has now sold well over 50,000 units. Whenever I visit California, I swear that every single one of them had been sold there, as they simply seem to be everywhere.
That's quite something for a company that was on the brink of bankruptcy only two years ago. Apparently, when things were glum, Musk worked directly with Google's Larry Page on a proposed deal, though today, spokespersons refuse to comment. Google's Rachel Whetstone even said, a "car company is pretty far from what Google knows."
That might be true, but it's said that the deal was literally shook on, and lawyers were involved to flesh out all of the details. One thing Musk demanded was that he would be kept in charge of Tesla, at least for eight years, so that he could see the release of a more mainstream model. Fortunately, he ended up being so finicky about some of the financial details that it kept the two parties apart, and soon after, Model S sales experienced a surge.
In 2012, Tesla's Model S was lacking some features, but today, the car offers even more than what most people would expect. Just this year, Tesla added an 'Insane' mode to the car, and is soon to release an update that helps reduce 'range anxiety', as well as a new autopilot mode. Again, with the hype that now surrounds the company, it's hard to believe it came so close to being snapped-up by Google.