Daimler Financially Divests From Tesla, BMW Could Step In

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Over five years ago, Daimler AG acquired a 9.1 percent interest in Tesla, gaining 1,000 battery packs for its Smart EV in exchange for helping to put the Model S on the road to production.

Wednesday, Daimler sold its remaining 4 percent in the company, netting $780 million for the trouble.

Despite the divestiture, both automakers will continue cooperating on ongoing projects, such as the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive recently launched in the United States. Daimler financial management board member Bodo Uebber said the sale would allow Tesla to “broaden its investor base,” adding that stock ownership wasn’t necessary to the overall relationship between the two companies.

As for who Tesla could now court, Forbes believes BMW could be drawn further into its own relationship with the company. International Strategy & Investment analyst Arndt Ellinghorst believes Tesla would benefit more from BMW’s carbon-fiber technology — put to great use in the i Series — than from providing batteries to Mercedes. Both companies met in June to discuss standardization for a potential EV charging network.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Stuki Stuki on Oct 23, 2014

    Those Krauts owe Mr. Musk a nicely appointed S class for life, should credit for his ventures dry up before they start minting meaningful money on their own.....

  • Voyager Voyager on Oct 24, 2014

    Now Toyota decided to sell its Tesla stock. Seems logical since Tesla shares are peaking, but also because of Toyota's own focus on hydrogen. Tesla may well need 'a new thing' that will draw the attention, not just diversify models like any other regular car maker. People might conclude that what Tesla only separates from the rest, is electric propulsion. That's a 'trick' others can copy. Not to mention that others may straightaway jump to hydrogen.

    • Voyager Voyager on Oct 24, 2014

      Not all stock, according to sources. So, needn't be a biggie. Just cashing in.