CONTINUED SUPPORT: Daimler has sold its 4% stake in electric car company Tesla - which unveiled its new D model earlier in October (above) - but will continue to support joint ventures. Image: AFP / Kevork Djansezian
NEW YORK - Daimler has sold its four percent stake in US battery-car pioneer Tesla for the equivalent of R8.5-billion though its co-operation with the company will not be affected.
Dieter Zetsche, chairman of Stuttgart-based Daimler, said development of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive model was complete but "the partnership with Tesla is very successful and will be continued”.
Daimler bought a 9.1% stake in California-based Tesla in May 2009 but sold about 40% of that soon afterwards to Aabar Investments, the Abu Dhabi government's investment arm. Tesla went public in mid-2010.
Tesla worked with Daimler on developing a battery Smart car as well as A and B-Class Mercedes and has said it would continue to supply parts for those cars.Tesla's stock has seen a four-fold increase in the past few years but lost value after news of the Daimler sale.