Electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has become a darling of Wall Street over the last year or two, and early investors in Tesla have made more than handsome profits on their investment. Daimler AG (OTCMKTS:DDAIF) (RA:DAI) (ETR:DAI) was one of those early investors, purchasing a 10% stake for $50 million in early 2009 when TSLA was really strapped for cash. The two companies have been relatively close ever since. Toyota Motor Corp (ADR) (NYSE:TM) (TYO:7203) also bought $50 million worth of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares after the company’s IPO back in 2010.
Recent Daimler CEO interview
Daimler AG (OTCMKTS:DDAIF) (RA:DAI) (ETR:DAI) CEO Deiter Zetsche was recently interviewed by Germany’s Automobil Produktion automotive news outlet. During the wide-ranging interview, Zetsche was queried regarding Daimler’s investment in Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). He was unabashedly enthusiastic in his reply.
We already worked out strategic issues with Tesla and to do so again in the future. Tesla is one of the best investments we have ever made.
Recent strategic negotiations between the companies
A well-known auto industry publication noted that Daimler AG (OTCMKTS:DDAIF) (RA:DAI) (ETR:DAI) and Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) had renegotiated some aspects of their deal back in late 2012.
Back in December of last year, Daimler had strengthened its partnership with the U.S. electric carmaker. For this purpose, the Stuttgart [aka Daimler] had entered into an agreement to hedge price risks with a term of three years on the approximately four percent Tesla share.
Musk on Daimler investment in Tesla
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk commented on the timeliness of the investment from Daimler in an interview back in 2012. “There were a couple of near-death situations. One is where I had to basically take all of my personal reserve capital in 2008 and invest that in Tesla… I was totally tapped out…and then, thankfully, Daimler…invested $50 million into Tesla…they put $50 million into Tesla at a time when they themselves were cash strapped. When someone is hungry themselves and they give you a bit of food, you’ve got to be grateful for that.”
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares are down around $7 today, trading at $238 and change as of 2:35 PM ET.