Closely watched financial manager Katie Wood told CNBC on Wednesday that Apple could own the self-driving car market by buying Tesla if the electric car maker had the opportunity.
“We’ve been following Apple very closely for years. Because what is an autonomous vehicle? This is the perfect mobile device, ”she said in an extensive interview with Squawk Box, during which she also talked about her Ark Invest strategies. , which expects long-term gains and buys Zoom on its recent dip.
Apple shares hit record highs last Friday and then again on Monday, pushing the market value above $ 2.5 trillion. Bloomberg report last week about a tech giant accelerating the launch of a self-driving car. Apple was slow to respond to CNBC’s request for comment regarding its stand-alone ambitions. Tesla was also unable to immediately comment on Wood’s comments.
“It’s very hard work, and with all of the leadership change, we would be surprised if they could get through it so quickly,” Wood said, referring to Bloomberg report in June on the departure of three top managers to the autonomous division of Apple. In 2018, Apple lured Doug Field, then Tesla’s senior vice president of technical affairs, back to the company he previously worked for. Apple has also hired many other former Tesla employees.
Wood, a longtime Tesla superbully, shareholder and supporter of CEO Elon Musk, told CNBC, “This was supposed to be the Apple market. Apple should have bought Tesla when given the opportunity. We’re glad they didn’t. … “
Musk tweeted in December 2020 that he contacted Apple CEO Tim Cook “on the darkest days for the Model 3 program” about the possibility of selling Tesla (at 1 / 10th of our current value). ” Musk said Cook “refused to accept the meeting.”
The first Model 3, a less expensive EV sedan aimed at consumer car buyers, was delivered in 2017 after increasing production to meet demand was problematic. In 2018, Musk tweeted that the auto business is “hell” and that he sleeping in a factory to try and solve problems.
Tesla today joined a club with a $ 1 trillion market capitalization, and Musk, the largest shareholder in the electric car company, has sold his billions of shares.
Wood told CNBC that she sees “nothing wrong” with Musk selling shares, taking profits, and paying billions of dollars in tax bills related to stock options grants.
Regulations It was revealed late Tuesday that Musk had exercised options to buy 2.15 million Tesla shares and sold 934,091 shares for just over $ 1 billion. Since his Twitter poll November 6Asked if he should sell the shares, Musk bought back 9.2 million shares for $ 9.9 billion.
– Reuters contributed to this report.