Apple Should Buy Tesla: Ross Gerber

As shares of Tesla Inc. (TSLA) continue on their roller-coaster ride due to a variety of concerns including the production of its first mass-market vehicle, the Model 3 sedan, its heavy burn rate and several controversial headlines surrounding CEO and founder Elon Musk, one investor says Apple Inc. (AAPL) should swoop in and rescue the company. In fact, the move would benefit both the electric vehicle maker and the smartphone producer in the long run, according to Ross Gerber, co-founder and CEO of Gerber Kawasaki, as outlined in a recent CNBC story. 

"This is Tim Cook's gift of all gifts," Gerber told CNBC's "Squawk Alley," speaking in regard to Apple's CEO.  

Tesla shares have been volatile over the weeks, driven in large part by Musk's tweets and interviews, including a lengthy write up by The New York Times. On Friday, Musk indicated that the past year has been "excruciating" and "the most difficult and painful" of his career. While Tesla has relied on its fan base, bears have become increasingly critical of the CEO, who has been called antagonistic and erratic by analysts and investors.

Musk Needs Cook, Says Investor

Earlier this month, Musk indicated that he was considering taking the electric car company private, and had 'funding secured', at $420 per share. Later, it was announced that his tweet was never approved by anyone else inside the company, and some doubted that the legitimacy of his statements. 

The recent scandals, which have opened up a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation, could be well managed by Apple's Tim Cook, who was hired by Steve Jobs to handle operational issues, said Gerber. 

"In the past, Apple and Tesla probably wouldn't have gotten along because Musk didn't need Apple, but it is clear he needs help [now]," Gerber told CNBC.

Apple $240 Billion Cash Pile

As for Apple, which heads off against other tech titans like Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) and Inc. (AMZN) in emerging tech markets, new innovation from Tesla could help the company gain ground and lead in the long-term, argued Gerber. 

"My biggest fear with Apple is that they have fallen so far behind in the innovation curve, I don't see where they will be five years from now," said the investor. "I don't think phones are going to be the primary device in a decade."

As Apple doubles down on markets outside of smartphones, such as artificial intelligence and self-driving cars, a Tesla partnership could help the firm with its secretive self-driving car project called Project Titan, which Gerber indicated is currently "going nowhere." A deal could allow Apple to place its operating system and App Store in Tesla vehicles, marking a new avenue to market its services and applications. 

Gerber thinks Apple would be smart to buy 5% to 10% of Tesla, even if "just to get the iOS onto that Tesla screen. Part of the Tesla story is that screen in the middle of the car, and not having Apple on that screen is going ot be a huge problem for them." 

Plus Apple surely has enough cash for a big purchase, with $240 billion to spare, noted the investor. 

Take the Next Step to Invest
The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where listings appear. Investopedia does not include all offers available in the marketplace.