Daimler Takes 10% Stake in Tesla - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 06:33 AM Thread Starter
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Daimler Takes 10% Stake in Tesla

Strategic Partnership: Daimler Acquires Stake in Tesla

- German automaker acquires nearly 10 percent of one of the leading electric vehicle companies

- Automakers agreed to cooperate in battery systems, electric drive systems and vehicle projects

STUTTGART, Germany and SAN CARLOS, Calif., May 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Daimler AG has acquired an equity stake of nearly 10 percent of Tesla Motors Inc. This investment deepens the relationship between the inventor of the automobile and the newest member of the global auto industry. Tesla is the only production automaker selling a highway capable electric vehicle in North America and Europe.

The two companies have already been working closely to integrate Tesla's lithium-ion battery packs and charging electronics into the first 1,000 units of Daimler's electric smart car. In order to benefit from each other's know-how, the investment enables the partners to collaborate even more closely on the development of battery systems, electric drive systems and in individual vehicle projects.

"Our strategic partnership is an important step to accelerate the commercialization of electric drives globally," said Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. "As a young and dynamic company, Tesla stands for visionary power and pioneering spirit. Together with Daimler's 120 years of experience in the automotive sector this collaboration is a unique combination of two companies' strengths. This marks another important milestone in Daimler's strategy for sustainable mobility."

"Daimler has set the benchmark for engineering excellence and vehicle quality for more than a century. It is an honor and a powerful endorsement of our technology that Daimler would choose to invest in and partner with Tesla," said Tesla Chairman, CEO and Product Architect Elon Musk. "Daimler is also on the leading edge in the field of sustainable mobility. Among others the lithium-ion pouch-cell battery developed by Daimler and especially designed for automotive applications is of interest to us. We are looking forward to a strategic cooperation in a number of areas including leveraging Daimler's engineering, production and supply chain expertise. This will accelerate bringing our Tesla Model S to production and ensure that it is a superlative vehicle on all levels."

Together on the road to electro-mobility

As part of the collaboration, Prof. Herbert Kohler, Vice President E-Drive and Future Mobility at Daimler AG, will take a seat on Tesla's board of directors.

This long-term partnership with Tesla complements Daimler's multi-facetted strategy to advance the electrification of the automobile.

Daimler is also moving forward the industrialization of lithium-ion technology. In March, the company founded the Deutsche Accumotive GmbH, a joint venture with Evonik Industries AG. As a result, Daimler is the first vehicle manufacturer worldwide that develops, produces and markets batteries for automotive applications. This is based on a Daimler stockholding in Li-Tec, the German specialist for lithium-ion battery cells.

100 smart electric cars have already been undergoing large-scale trials in London since 2007. These electric vehicles are being tested in day-to-day assignments by fleet operators and private customers.

Later this year the smart assembly plant in Hambach, France, will start production of up to 1,000 units of the second-generation smart fortwo with electric drive, which will initially be used for mobility projects such as e-mobility Berlin or e-mobility Italy. This year Daimler is also starting small-series production of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class with a fuel cell drive system. In 2010 the company will introduce its first battery-powered Mercedes-Benz. As of 2012, Daimler plans to equip all smart and Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles with own produced lithium-ion batteries.

In 2004, Tesla began development of its first electric vehicle, the Roadster, which remains the only highway capable EV for sale in North America or Europe. The Tesla Roadster is the first production battery electric vehicle to travel more than 200 miles per charge and the first US- and EU-certified lithium-ion battery electric vehicle. This green supercar accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds yet gets the equivalent of 256 miles per gallon. The Roadster, which travels an estimated 244 miles per charge with zero tailpipe emissions, is the first production vehicle to break the historical compromise between automobile performance and efficiency.

The Tesla Model S builds upon the success of the Tesla Roadster by leveraging its technology into the world's first fully electric sedan. Based in Silicon Valley, Tesla unveiled the Model S in March and plans to produce it in California starting in late 2011.

About Daimler

Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler AG, with its businesses Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Daimler Financial Services, Mercedes-Benz Vans and Daimler Buses, is a globally leading producer of premium passenger cars and is the global market leader for heavy- and medium-duty trucks and buses. The Daimler Financial Services division has a broad offering of financial services, including vehicle financing, leasing, insurance and fleet management. Daimler sells its products in nearly every country and has production facilities on five continents. Founders, Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, continued to make automotive history following their invention of the automobile in 1886. As an automotive pioneer, Daimler and its employees willingly accept an obligation to act responsibly towards society and the environment and to shape the future of safe and sustainable mobility with groundbreaking technologies and high-quality products. The current brand portfolio includes the world's most valuable automobile brand, Mercedes-Benz, as well as smart, AMG, Maybach, Freightliner, Western Star, Mitsubishi Fuso, Setra, Orion and Thomas Built Buses. The company is listed on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt, New York and Stuttgart (stock exchange abbreviation DAI). In 2008, the Group sold 2.1 million vehicles and employed a workforce of over 270,000 people; revenue totaled euro 95.9 billion and EBIT amounted to euro 2.7 billion. Daimler is an automotive Group with a commitment to excellence, and aims to achieve sustainable growth and industry-leading profitability.

About Tesla Motors

San Carlos, Calif.-based Tesla Motors Inc. makes electric vehicles with exceptional design, performance and efficiency, while conforming to all North American and European safety, environmental and durability standards. The Roadster has a 0-to-60 mph acceleration of 3.9 seconds yet is more energy efficient than a Toyota Prius. Tesla expects to begin producing the all-electric, zero-emission Model S sedan in late 2011.

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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 06:49 AM
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Because it went so well with Chrysler.
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 08:30 AM
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Hopefully this will be good for Tesla which in turn should be great for Lotus.
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-19-2009, 11:55 AM
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Hopefully this will be good for Tesla which in turn should be great for Lotus.
How do you figure?
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 08:53 AM
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 09:32 AM
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...well, i still think the idea of tesla has a lot of potential - if daimler's stake helps them get their act together, fantastic...

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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 09:35 AM
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How do you figure?
Not sure why you are asking, so don't take this wrong. But Lotus builds the Tesla cars so every car sold is more income for Lotus.

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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 09:45 AM
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Not sure why you are asking, so don't take this wrong. But Lotus builds the Tesla cars so every car sold is more income for Lotus.
...is tesla still planning to fabricate the model S entirely in-house?..

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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-20-2009, 09:48 AM
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Does anybody know if Tesla are using Lotus Versatile Vehicle Architecture (VVA) and the Aluminium Performance Crossover (APX) in its Tesla model S? If so is Daimler going to show an interest in Lotus?

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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 10:48 PM
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Does anybody know if Tesla are using Lotus Versatile Vehicle Architecture (VVA) and the Aluminium Performance Crossover (APX) in its Tesla model S? If so is Daimler going to show an interest in Lotus?
I would bet that we are going to see one of the major automakers looking closely at lotus... Its all about acquiring the tools needed to get the job done. Benz realizes that if they want to build EV's in a serious way then they need access to specific pieces of the technology puzzle to do it practically.

Tesla figures into that because with all they have managed to screw up, they have effectively solved 2 pieces of the puzzle: the battery and drive systems... in other words, tesla has spent the past few years solving the drive and transmission engineering problems so it makes sense for benz to use those pieces rather than take the time and expense to build their own.

The next logical step would be to look at lotus for their experience in lightweight frame and subassemblies... Lotus has far more experience in this area than *any* other manufacturer and has both the design and engineering experience to get the job done... Lotus has sort of been left at the wayside for the past 30 years with their quirky idea of building lighter but now that the push for EV's and small fuel efficient vehicles is in full force I would expect lotus to do quite well in the coming years...
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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 10:52 PM
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One more thing to consider is the way benz structured the deal: its an equity stake but its contingent on putting one of their guys on the board at tesla and also having a rep to "oversee" things at the company... Thats another way of saying "well we like your technology but you guys obviously cant run a car company to save your lives"...

This is possibly the best thing that could happen to tesla as far as finally getting things running well over there but I am still betting that the model S never sees the light of day...
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-23-2009, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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One more thing to consider is the way benz structured the deal: its an equity stake but its contingent on putting one of their guys on the board at tesla and also having a rep to "oversee" things at the company...
Care to provide a source for this supposed deal structure?

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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 04:07 AM
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...is tesla still planning to fabricate the model S entirely in-house?..
What house? They don't have one to build it in.
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 05:29 AM
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What house? They don't have one to build it in.
...exactly my point - i haven't heard any change in production strategy for the model S...

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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 05:39 AM
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Not sure why you are asking, so don't take this wrong. But Lotus builds the Tesla cars so every car sold is more income for Lotus.
Yup....really...a no brainer.

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post #16 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 06:26 AM
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tesla has spent the past few years solving the drive and transmission engineering problems
Not sure one could go so far as to say they've solved the drive and transmission problems. What are they using now, one speed, two speed transmissions? Are they still swapping upgraded units into the early cars? Does anybody really know what the lifespan of their transmission is at this point? I don't know that they're really that much further ahead of the Dodge Circuit. Production-wise, yes, technology, dunno.

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post #17 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 09:15 AM
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Care to provide a source for this supposed deal structure?
sure... the press release that tesla put out....

Tesla Motors - Press Releases
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post #18 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 09:17 AM
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Not sure one could go so far as to say they've solved the drive and transmission problems. What are they using now, one speed, two speed transmissions? Are they still swapping upgraded units into the early cars? Does anybody really know what the lifespan of their transmission is at this point? I don't know that they're really that much further ahead of the Dodge Circuit. Production-wise, yes, technology, dunno.
you make a good point... I guess we really dont know if they have completely solved the problems (they say that they have)... I would imagine that daimler would have done their due diligence before entering into the deal and checked to make sure that they were actually buying something worth buying...
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post #19 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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sure... the press release that tesla put out....

Tesla Motors - Press Releases
Well yes, the board seat -- but that's normal for any investment deal of this size. The part about "having a rep to "oversee" things at the company" -- that's what I'm referring to. Please point that part out. And do you really think that in this economy anyone would make an eight-figure investment in a company they feel is poorly run? Really?

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post #20 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-24-2009, 11:51 AM
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Maybe they want to be sure Elon is as focused (or more so) on Tesla as he is on his rocketry business.

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