Tesla (TSLA) has attracted interest from many established automakers over the years, and now it adds Volkswagen to the list as VW CEO Herbert Diess says he is open to investing in Tesla, according to a report from Germany.
Over the years, Tesla was partly owned by Toyota and Daimler, Mercedes-Benz’s parent company.
Both automakers ended selling their stake after Tesla went public and the stock increased in value significantly.
In 2009, Daimler invested $50 million for roughly 9% of Tesla’s stock.
Throughout the years, when Daimler was a Tesla investor, they had contracts with Tesla for them to supply electric powertrains to some of their early EV programs.
In 2014, when Daimler stopped its powertrain supply contract with Tesla, it ended up selling its stake in the company for $780 million — a healthy profit on a $50 million investment.
Toyota also had a similar relationship with Tesla and slowly started divesting its stake in the company, eventually selling everything in 2017.
Tesla has since stopped supplying its expertise or electric powertrain to other automakers and focused on its own electric vehicles program.
However, it is reportedly still attracting the interest of other automakers.
Germany’s Manager Magazin is reporting that VW CEO Herbert Diess is interested in acquiring a stake in Tesla.
They quote one of Diess’ top managers as saying:
Diess would go in right away if he could.
With the investment, he would reportedly like to have a development partnership with Tesla to help VW in its new electric vehicle effort.
Update: A VW spokesperson issued a statement denyinh Diess’ interest in buyinh a stake in Tesla.
Volkswagen is sitting on enough cash to make a significant investment in Tesla, but Diess cannot do it alone.
He would need the approval of the board and some top shareholders, including the Piech and the Porsche families.
VW was also previously linked to Tesla as a potential partner in Elon Musk’s infamous attempt to bring the company private.
I could get behind that, but I doubt it will happen.
Tesla doesn’t really need cash right now and I don’t think it wants to go back to supplying powertrains to other automakers in the near future.
Maybe long term, but not in the next 3-4 years in my opinion.
Instead, Tesla wants to focus on its own EV programs and having enough batteries to supply them.
However, it could be a good thing long term and if VW wants to invest now and build on their relationship long term based on that investment. It might be a good idea too.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.
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