Toyota flogs its final Tesla shareholding after signalling plans to go it alone on electric cars

 
Oliver Gill
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Tesla is headquartered in Palo Alto, California (Source: Getty)

Toyota said today it had sold all its shares in Tesla by the end of 2016, after cancelling plans for a partnership to develop electric cars.

The Japanese car giant bought a $50m stake in Tesla in 2010, after Elon Musk impressed president Akio Toyota on a visit to his Californian home.

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In 2014, however, Toyota signalled the love affair was over when it started selling down its shareholding.

The two carmakers had originally agreed to jointly develop an electric version of Toyota's popular Rav4 SUV. But relations soured when Toyota slapped a $50,000 price tag on the car, twice that of its non-electric equivalent. Fewer than 2,000 cars had been sold by 2014.

"Our development partnership with Tesla ended a while ago, and since there has not been any new developments on that front, we decided it was time to sell the remaining stake," said Toyota spokesman Ryo Sakai.

Last year Toyota launched a new electric car division and appointed its president to lead operations.

The department includes a new in-house unit to plan Toyota's strategy to develop and market electric cars in order to keep pace with tightening global emissions regulations.

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