Koehler had been a board member since Daimler invested in the company in 2009. As Tesla CEO Elon Musk told us earlier this year, Tesla received a $50-million investment at a much-needed time in the electric carmaker's history. As Musk said, "thankfully, Daimler, with whom we had a small deal to produce battery packs for the Smart [ED] actually invested $50 million into Tesla in the nick of time. It wasn't some huge altruistic gesture, but nonetheless, they had to have faith that their $50 million wouldn't go down the drain."
Other than battery packs for the Smart electric drive, Tesla hasn't yet announced signing another contract with Daimler similar to Tesla's alliance with Toyota on its RAV4 EV's electric powertrain system. Tesla will also make a powertrain for the B-Class E-Cell, but details are sparse on that. Musk did say that "it's a big program, it's not a marketing or a demonstration program. It is a serious, high-volume program." In a recent public regulatory filing, Tesla stated that the board change is the "result of a natural transition of responsibilities at Daimler AG with respect to the development of electric vehicle powertrains."
Tesla's financial sheet is getting better, as Tesla announced being cash flow positive earlier this month, and that profits may be earned next year through sales of its Model S. Musk also seems to be doing well – he's described in the Automotive News article as "billionaire Elon Musk." Along with his role at SpaceX, Musk is chairman of home solar panel-installer SolarCity, and still finds time to oversee luxury electric carmaker Tesla Motors.