Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: Toyota And Tesla Prepping "Billion Dollar" Deal
Edmunds Autoobserver reports that Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed in today’s Q2 analyst call that
“we’re in discussions with [Toyota] for a deal that is an order of magnitude larger than [the previous, $100m deal].” A Tesla official later confirmed to AutoObserver that by “order of magnitude,” Musk was stating that the 8-year-old company was discussing a $1 billion deal with the world’s largest automaker.
Holy Shnikeys! Check out Tesla’s Q2 shareholder letter here.
[UPDATE: So, what’s going on? Toyota Japan reps are on break until Saturday, and we’re still waiting on word from ToMoCo’s US operations. Ask us to speculate, and we’d guess it has something to do with the NUMMI plant Toyota sold Tesla (the joint Tesla-Toyota RAV4 EV will be produced and sold to the public, but a plant has not yet been named. A joint venture at NUMMI makes sense because Tesla can’t fill it to capacity alone. On the other hand, Wards reports that Toyota may be leaning towards Ontario as a production site for the RAV4 EV). Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk aren’t saying anything for now either. Musk was last seen talking about saving humanity by helping it become a multiplanetary species… let’s just hope we find out something else about this “billion dollar” deal before Elon decamps for Burning Man later this month.]
L'avventura on Aug 03, 2011
Its a good time to strike a deal, the strong yen, while hurting exports means that Japanese companies can strike deals on the cheap. Beer in Brazil, cigarettes in Sudan, juice in New Zealand; Japanese companies are striking billion dollar deals left and right these last couple of months. Overseas takeovers and acquisitions by Japanese firms so far in 2011 is up 110% from a year earlier to $46.7 billion. While Toyota is very unlikely to buy into Tesla significantly, especially with the risk of UAW re-unionization in Tesla's California plant, its a great chance to convince Japanese companies to invest as they look abroad. And Tesla needs it. Its hard to imagine a scenario where a niche maker like Tesla can survive in making cars without a tie-up with a large company, especially with the ambitious projected volume they present in that shareholder letter.
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