2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric DriveEnlarge Photo
Daimler has sold its remaining 4 percent stake in Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA], bringing an end to an investment that dates back to 2009 when Daimler first acquired 10 percent of the Californian startup. The sale will result in a cash inflow of approximately $780 million for Daimler’s coffers.
The German auto giant said it was selling its stake because it was no longer necessary for the current collaboration with Tesla.
“We are extremely satisfied with the development of our investment in Tesla, but it is not necessary for our partnership and cooperation,” Daimler board member in charge of finances Bodo Uebber explained. “For this reason, we have decided to divest of our shares.”
In a previous interview, Uebber said Daimler wanted more from its investment with Tesla, so perhaps management hit a roadblock in negotiations. It was previously thought the two would collaborate on a third electric car project to follow the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive and first-generation Smart ForTwo Electric Drive models, but now it looks like Daimler will go it alone.
Daimler, which offers one of the widest selections of electric cars, says it remains committed to vehicle electrification and will continue its ongoing collaboration with Tesla on current projects, namely, the supply of electric powertrains for its B-Class Electric Drive.
Its focus, however, will be on plug-in hybrids in the coming years. By 2017, Mercedes will launch ten plug-in hybrid models in all market segments. Already this year, Mercedes has managed to sell more hybrid vehicles than all other German automakers combined.