Elon Musk sat down with Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner to discuss a range of subjects, including whether Tesla would acquire a legacy automaker.
Once derided as a pipe dream with no real chance of widespread success, Tesla has risen to all-new heights in the auto industry. Its market capitalization far exceeds many legacy automakers. In addition, the entire industry is now pivoting to where Tesla currently is, with virtually every major automaker increasing their electric/hybrid production. Many, including Subaru and Bentley, have announced definitive plans to transition exclusively to electric/hybrid vehicles in the near future.
The state of the industry has caused some speculation that Tesla might considering acquiring one of the legacy automakers, giving it access to a larger network of factories, dealerships and infrastructure. Döpfner addressed this directly in an interview with Musk Tuesday.
“Is it a serious option to buy one of the incumbents, or one of the big car companies, for you?” Döpfner asked.
“Well, I think we’re definitely not going to launch a hostile takeover,” Musk said. “So I suppose…if somebody said, ‘Hey, we think it would be a good idea to merge with Tesla,’ we certainly could have that conversation. But, you know, we don’t want it to be a hostile takeover sort of situation.”
While it doesn’t appear there is any serious discussion or inquiry regarding such a merger, the fact that Tesla is open to such a proposal raises a world of possibilities, both for the automaker and the industry in general.