Wednesday 22 October 2014

Daimler sells stake in Tesla Motors

Daimler has reorganized its cooperation with Tesla Motors Inc.; terminated the share-price hedge it initiated in 2013 and sold its four per cent stake in Tesla.

Daimler adds that cooperation between the partners on the automotive projects is unaffected and, while development work for the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive is completed, “the partnership with Tesla remains in place”.

“We pursue our strategy for emission-free driving consequently. Electric vehicles are one component of this roadmap. In Tesla we do have a bold partner. Together we launched the B-class Electric Drive successfully in the US this summer. In November, the B-Class Electric Drive will be launched in Europe as well. We are convinced that this powerful electric vehicle for everyday use will appeal to a lot of customers,” said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

Furthermore, batteries for the first generation of Smart fourtwo electric drive had been sourced from Tesla. The two-seater with electric drive is one of the best-selling electric cars in Germany.

“Our partnership with Tesla is very successful and will be continued”, added Zetsche.

Bodo Uebber, member of the board of management of Daimler AG for finance added: “We are extremely satisfied with our investment in Tesla, but it is not necessary for our partnership and cooperation. For this reason, we have decided to divest of our shares. This will also allow Tesla to broaden its investor base.”

The sale of the stake in Tesla will result in a cash inflow of around $780 million, which will be used to strengthen Daimler’s operational business.

Daimler claims to have the industry’s biggest portfolio of electric vehicles from cars and vans to buses and light trucks: smart electric drive, Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-CELL, B-Class Electric Drive, B-Class F-CELL, SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive, Vito E-CELL, Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL-Hybrid, Fuso Canter E-CELL and Freightliner Custom Chassis MT E-CELL All-Electric.

“Systematic hybridization” are the current buzz words identyfing a “fixed element” of Daimler’s powertrain strategy. In 2014, Mercedes-Benz sold more automobiles with hybrid drive than all other German manufacturers combined. The focus will continue to be on plug-in hybrids in the coming years. By the year 2017, Mercedes-Benz Cars will launch ten new plug-in hybrid models in all market segments.

Daimler initially acquired a 9.1% interest in Tesla in May 2009. 40% of that investment was transferred to Aabar Investments PJSC in the context of a joint strategic project in July 2009. 

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