Daimler AG has taken a 10% equity stake in Tesla Motors for a “double digit million dollar sum.”
That’s according to Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, who along with Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced their partnership in Germany. There are future options in the contract, and Daimler will have someone added to Tesla’s board, as part of the deal, as well.
“The reason we chose Daimler, was to have a close senior auto partner,” says Musk. “The share price Daimler offered wasn’t the highest. We could’ve gotten better from a purely financial investor,” but there’s significant mutal benefits to teaming with an experienced automaker.
Musk also says Tesla “doesn’t need capital immediately.” This might raise some eyebrows. Sure, Tesla raised $40 million earlier this year, but the company likely needed more money. We guess it depends on the definition of “immediately.”
The partnership with Daimler appears to be focused on battery technology and development, though they may extend it further later.
“The first step is to develop the electric Smart car, with the Tesla battery pack,” says Weber. “We will extend in fields like battery and cell management, battery cooling technology, as well as electric drives.” He says the e-Smart car will be on the road by the end of the year.
Daimler owns 49.1% stake in Li-Tec, a subsidiary of Evonik. Weber stresses that they will combine the knowledge from Li-Tec with Telsa’s battery expertise.
Weber and Musk alluded to collaborating on the Model S. “Time will come that we can announce a new project,” says Weber. “If we can combine experience on engineering side, components for breaks, it widen up fields with zero emission vehicles.”
“Today’s not the day to announce future collaborations,” says Musk.
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