However, he could not take any step or action on the purported sale because Apple CEO Tim Cook did not respond to a requested meeting
Although Musk did not say exactly when he requested the meeting, he described it as being “during the darkest days of the Model 3 programme”.
Tesla was struggling to meet vehicle production targets for the electric car – its first designed for the mass market – in 2017 and 2018.
At the time Musk said the company was in “production hell”, blaming problems with automated production systems at its battery factory in Nevada.
In a tweet to his 41m followers, Musk said had asked for a meeting with Apple boss Tim Cook “to discuss the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla (for one-tenth of our current value)”.
Musk said: “He refused to take the meeting.”
Tesla’s value, as at the close of trading on Tuesday, was $616bn (£458bn), so a tenth of this would be $61.6bn (£45.8bn).
The company is also finally making a profit after years of losses and in October it delivered a record number of new cars.
Its shares have soared 665% this year and it is the world’s most valuable automaker and among the top 10 biggest US companies in the S&P 500 index.
Tim Cook would probably now wish that Musk requested because Apple is still struggling to build its own autonomous car even though it has set a 2024 deadline to produce one.