From being named Motor Trend's Car of the Year, to paying off a federal loan nine years early, to a share price that has more than tripled in the past three months, things are clearly on the move at Tesla Motors (TSLA), America's newest, hottest green automaker. It seems the only thing missing from this $13 billion company's growing laundry list of achievement is a massive takeover bid.
Well, at least one large shareholder thinks that not only could happen - but should happen - and not from within the auto industry.
"I think if Steve Jobs were still here he actually would have already acquired the company," says Cole Wilcox, CEO of Longboard Asset Management in the attached video, adding that in his absence, he thinks current Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook "should get out there and see the big picture as to how this fits into (Apple's) digital hub strategy."
At a minimum, Wilcox's claim has the makings of a great happy hour debate. While Apple clearly has more than enough cash to do a $12 billion deal, and is always on the lookout for the next big thing to rekindle growth within its portfolio of iGadgets, there is nothing to suggest such a giant leap of diversification would ever happen.
In the meantime, Wilcox is content with the prospects of the electric car business itself, and what that means for the continued growth of Tesla's stock, which he believes will ''definitely" hit $200 a share within five years if not sooner.
"They're not going away. Tesla is the next great consumer brand on a global scale," Wilcox says, before calling the company's 41-year-old front man Elon Musk "an excellent CEO" who is a "charismatic, marketing genius" who effectively uses social media to engage people.
"It's just a matter of time, it's not a question of if," he says of Tesla's future growth, expansion, and possible acquisition. As much as that Steve Jobs prediction might seem far-fetched, there continues to be speculation that Google (GOOG) might be interested in bidding, as well as a report that says Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak wants a Tesla for his birthday.