In May 2009, Tesla Motors and Daimler told the world they would work together on electric vehicles. It was a big deal – Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said the German automaker should get the credit for saving Tesla – but the end result for Daimler hasn't been that obvious. Sure, we have had some executive-level sharing and the Smart Fortwo ED used a Tesla battery pack and the B-Class EV is on the way, but that's about it. Apparently, Daimler wants more of whatever it has been getting, though, according to Reuters.

The information comes from Bodo Uebber, Daimler's chief financial officer, who recently told reporters that, "I told my guys, go back to Tesla and look for other opportunities [to work together]. We want to look for more cooperation." Uebber didn't specify what products or items might come out of further teamwork, just that "We could use more [from Tesla]."

Looking back at history, it would appear that Musk would be more than willing to help out an old friend. Last year, he told AutoblogGreen that he knew that when Daimler came to invest in Tesla, the German company was cash strapped. "When someone is hungry themselves and they give you a bit of food, you've got to be grateful for that," he said. Daimler owns a 4.3 percent stake in Tesla.


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  • 30 Comments
      danfred411
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm not sure it's wise for Merc to deal with Tesla, it will just strengthen Tesla and threaten Mercedes. It gives them money and credibility. If you rely on your competitor to tell you what to do.. Tesla's tech is quite easy to copy for pennies. I don't get how they can be that incompetent.
        paulwesterberg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @danfred411
        Daimler AG has acquired an equity stake of nearly 10 percent of Tesla in 2009. I am sure they are laughing all the way to the bank as their $50M investment turned into... $1B? http://www.forbes.com/sites/joannmuller/2013/06/01/what-do-toyota-and-mercedes-see-in-tesla-a-bit-of-themselves/
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @paulwesterberg
          Daimler sold off 40% of their stake in Tesla back in June of 2012. That 40% would now be worth $850 million. As it is they have still made over ten times their investment back.
          danfred411
          • 1 Year Ago
          @paulwesterberg
          Sure the investment turned out great. But that's a different aspect. November 5th will be yet another pivotal moment for the stock. A bad result wont kill them but it might be a factor 2 swing either way. If there is even a slight reason to describe it as positive the stock might well go past 200. But that's not in Mercs favor.
        Val
        • 1 Year Ago
        @danfred411
        They are either more incompetent than you think, or tesla's tech can't be copied for pennies.
          danfred411
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Val
          why more than I think? I already think they are pretty incompetent :) more hardly seems possible. and Tesla's tech is quite easy to copy. Laptop cells, TO247 IGBTs in parallel and straight forward albeit high rpm AC induction motors
      Alexander
      • 1 Year Ago
      Daimler knows that electric is the future. They want to make electric cars. Expect either Daimler to buy Tesla outright or Tesla to buy Daimler when Tesla gets big enough. This was inevitable to happen.
        imoore
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Alexander
        Your first suggestion is the exact translation. Daimler wants Tesla. End of story. With Tesla's stock prices shrinking, I'm sensing a hostile bid to happen soon.
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @imoore
          That's not going to happen. Elon Musk won't let it happen. Daimler doesn't have enough money to pull it off. Even if they managed to get controlling interest, Tesla is controlled by Elon and those that are loyal to him which includes the customers. Daimler in attempting to wrest control would end up with a hollow shell that would leave them with little to nothing in return. Daimler isn't that stupid. It will be a cooperative effort like Tesla has done with Toyota. There will be a number of engineers that join with Tesla engineers to cooperatively design new drivetrains for Daimler products.
      RCEllig
      • 1 Year Ago
      Daimler is not a company you wan to partner with. In the 1980's Daimler bought out Freightliner Corporation(semi trucks). One week over 50 excutives were given M-Benz company cars to drive, the next week those excutives were replaced with German employees and given bus passes to get home. Daimler tried to get the retirement money from Freightliner employees. Daimler couldn't get it but it sure messed with people to get the money out of the company. Daimler basically bought Freightliner Corp to destroy the USA product brand and to put in there own product line from overseas. Daimler was just in it for the money , speculating investment. and did not invest in any tech support or product with Tesla. Now that Tesla is doing well on IT's own ..Of course the Daimler Money grubbers want in and are telling anyone they had alot to do with Teslas success.. Far from it.. They got their money and ran. CEO Musk..you own Daimler nothing.
      johnb
      • 1 Year Ago
      Don't do it Tesla. Daimler is a giant leech of a company and will the suck the life right out of you. Look what they did the chrysler.
        kmdk78
        • 1 Year Ago
        @johnb
        Hmmmm what did they do? How about a little education. If Chrysler wasn't such a poorly managed company, then and now, they would have taken advantage of MB. It should be broken up into Jeep, Ram and SRT. Lose everything else it's just a drain.
          sjmoo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @kmdk78
          @Wa, I'm not quite sure where that myth came from. Daimler at the time of the merger had an operating profit of roughly $4B dollars (Mercedes-Benz alone had one of its most profitable years in history). They were extremely financially sound. Chrysler did have huge cash on hand at the time of merger as well, but a big chunk of it disappeared almost immediately in response to the unprecedented recalls and warranty claims Chrysler faced in the late '90s in response to its transmission and engine woes. The fact that both companies were so strong on their own makes the merger all the more annoying. Neither company needed the other, they both simply wanted to be the biggest in the world and rushed through a deal without thinking about how it would actually work. The leaders of Chrysler at the time (who conveniently left immediately and pocketed enormous sums of money) were some of the biggest corporate crooks of our time.
          Tina Dang
          • 1 Year Ago
          @kmdk78
          And MB's E-Class platform saved Chrysler ^^
          john96xlt
          • 1 Year Ago
          @kmdk78
          Right, because they don't sell any Chargers or 300s, huh? Stupid.
          Wa
          • 1 Year Ago
          @kmdk78
          Chrysler's $15b saved MB!!!! "How about a little education"
      Love Great Danes
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ve Vill Get Vhat Ve Vant!
      raktmn
      • 1 Year Ago
      Maybe they could get Elan to put on that cheezy mustache, and do some Dr. Z ads... =)
      Wetstuff
      • 1 Year Ago
      Watch out Fritz .. Musk will buy you! Jim
      purrpullberra
      • 1 Year Ago
      If I was Tesla or Elon I think I'd limit how much energy they put into another companies' products. Unless they are expressly committed to building parts I think ALL energy should be focused on Tesla cars and technology. Let sales people try to sell licenses for Supercharger tech or work with different companies who want Tesla stations on their property. And they need to put money into high-end interior personalization options to bring in $$$'s. MB is just a distraction now, as helpful as they were in the past. They have been rewarded for their halp in spades already. They are owed nothing more. And if they want to work with Tesla further then they must wait in line and get ready to pay dearly for the honor. Too much has changed for what happened in 2010 to matter to the 2 businesses. Thanks MB, we'll send a nice card each year, good luck and bye bye.
      ss1591
      • 1 Year Ago
      I would look at what they did to Chrysler and run as fast as I could! All they want is the Tech to make their own cars and then put Tesla out of business, look at how long it has taken Chrysler to get back on its feet and now it is really a Fiat company not the partnership that Mercedes promised.
        sjmoo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ss1591
        It would most certainly be a different situation this time around. Chrysler's execs are really responsible for how badly the Daimler-Chrysler merger turned out. They orchestrated the deal and then immediately jumped ship once Daimler took over, leaving with enormous golden parachutes. This left Daimler to fill Chrysler's management ranks with its own people. People who had no idea how to run a volume automaker, much less one with serious foundational challenges (a lack of new products, huge recalls, etc). Furthermore, Daimler itself was badly run at the time with Shrempp as CEO who was losing the company millions. He was the last person who should have been tasked with recreating Chrysler. The sad thing is that when things actually worked between the two, they worked enormously well. Look at the 300/Charger and Grand Cherokee for proof. There was just too much bad management at the outset for it to ever work. Daimler is a very different company than it was in 1998, though. Furthermore, Tesla is a niche luxury maker who Daimler has much more in common with than Chrysler.
      Koenigsegg
      • 1 Year Ago
      The current Smart ED does not use a tesla battery, Daimler supplies the battery and its way better than the old tesla battery, if you haven't driven a smart ed please go and do so, you are missing out on the greatest fun, dont be delusional.
        Val
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Koenigsegg
        Interesting info. How is it better than the tesla battery, and is the originally supplied tesla battery the same as in the roadster or is i from the model S? Would be interesting to share any info you have on that?
      RCEllig
      • 1 Year Ago
      CEO Musk..You do not owe Daimler anything. Watch your back!!
      Grendal
      • 1 Year Ago
      4.3% of Tesla equals $860 million. Daimler's initial investment to get 10% was $50 million. Daimler sold off a lot of its investment for a tidy profit back in June of 2012. That was a big mistake but they didn't know it then. As it is Daimler has made a boatload of money from their investment.
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