German automotive giant relinquishes financial interest in Elon Musk's electric car company
Matt Burt
23 October 2014

Daimler has offloaded its financial stake in Tesla, but has pledged to continue working with Elon Musk's electric car company.

The German automotive giant initially acquired an interest in Tesla in May 2009, and the two parties have collaborated on projects including the new Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive.

The batteries for the first generation of the Smart Fortwo electric drive also came from the Californian company.

Despite the end of the financial deal, Tesla will continue to supply the power trains for the B-class Electric Drive. Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche said: “Our partnership with Tesla is very successful and will be continued.”

Bodo Uebber, Daimler's finance chief, explained: “We are extremely satisfied with the development of our investment in Tesla, but it is not necessary for our partnership and cooperation. For this reason, we have decided to divest of our shares. This will also allow Tesla to broaden its investor base.”

The sale of Daimler’s stake in Tesla will result in a cash inflow of around $780 million (£487m), which the German giant says will be used to "strengthen its operational business".

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Our Verdict

Mercedes-Benz B-Class

Change is coming to Mercedes’ small-car range, and this new B-Class is the first taste of it.

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week