Volkswagen denied a report Thursday that it has any curiosity in taking a stake in U.S. electrical automotive maker Tesla.
“It is fully unfounded. It is pure hypothesis,” Volkswagen spokesman Pietro Zollino mentioned of a report in German journal Supervisor Magazin that mentioned VW CEO Herbert Diess was eyeing Tesla.
Tesla’s shares briefly inched larger after Reuters printed an article summarizing the journal earlier than falling after VW denied the report.
Whereas Germany’s Volkswagen could not wish to spend money on Tesla, the U.S. carmaker has been scouting places in Europe for a new Gigafactory there.
Executives at Tesla, which did not instantly touch upon this story, have mentioned a European facility will assist decrease transportation prices, keep away from tariffs and increase availability in a market simply starting to embrace electrical autos. Norway now sells extra battery-powered autos than these utilizing gasoline or diesel, and Tesla is the market’s primary provider.
CEO Elon Musk instructed buyers in a July 24 convention name the corporate would finalize its location for a European Gigafactory earlier than the top of the 12 months with hopes to have it up and operating by 2021.
Two auto business executives near Tesla or Volkswagen, who requested to not be recognized, mentioned the California-based automaker is at present in search of a manufacturing facility web site in Germany.
Tesla has reportedly scouted out Decrease Saxony, Germany, near VW’s headquarters and its largest manufacturing operations, based on one of many folks, who lives in Europe. Although labor prices are excessive, he mentioned the placement would supply Tesla with “low cost and renewable power.”
Germany’s Supervisor Magazin had reported early Thursday that Volkswagen was trying to purchase a stake in Tesla as a option to entry the U.S. producer’s expertise. VW is within the midst of an aggressive roll-out of battery-electric autos, beginning with the Audi e-tron it launched this 12 months, with dozens extra merchandise to come back by mid-decade. However it has additionally been creating alliances, together with one with Ford Motor Co., that might assist cut back prices and provides it entry to new applied sciences.
“Diess would go in immediately if he might,” the German journal reported, quoting an unidentified senior VW supervisor.
In accordance with the publication, Diess has been assembly frequently along with his counterpart at Tesla, although Musk had to this point rebuffed an curiosity in placing an alliance.
Volkswagen categorically denied the report.
Whether or not Tesla can be enthusiastic about a tie-up with Volkswagen or not is unclear. The corporate has labored intently with different producers prior to now, together with each German’s Daimler and Japan’s Toyota.
Tesla’s relationship with the Japanese large was fashioned in Could 2010, a month earlier than Tesla’s IPO. Toyota bought $50 million in inventory and agreed to cooperate on battery-car growth. Tesla supplied the electrical drivetrain for a short-lived EV model of the Toyota RAV4 that debuted in 2012. However the Japanese firm subsequently introduced the formation of its personal EV program with out Tesla.
In June of 2016, Toyota mentioned it held 2.three million shares of Tesla inventory, as of the top of the prior quarter, valuing its holdings at $538 million. It quietly offered off these holdings later that 12 months.
Maybe the longest-lasting legacy of the deal is Tesla’s Fremont, California, meeting plant. The manufacturing facility was initially constructed by General Motors after which turned a part of the Detroit automaker’s personal three way partnership with Toyota. GM deserted the deal when it filed for chapter, leaving Toyota the only proprietor earlier than shutting the manufacturing facility down. Tesla purchased it in 2010.
Daimler took an almost 10% stake in Tesla in Could 2009. Tesla supplied experience on a number of initiatives, notably the event of the first-generation Mercedes B-Class electrical automobile.
However the German automaker offered off its stake for a acquire of almost $800 million in October 2014, a transfer that not too long ago retired Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche mentioned, on the time, “I didn’t remorse…for a second.” Final October, nonetheless, Zetsche instructed Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita that some form of future relationship might once more be doable.
Volkswagen has equally struck offers with different producers to assist develop and construct battery-electric autos. That features Rimac which builds battery-electric supercars. VW’s Porsche model took a 10% stake within the Croatian firm final 12 months for an unspecified worth.
In July, VW additionally added a brand new alliance with Ford — one in all three ventures they now cooperate on — specializing in battery-car expertise. Amongst different issues, Ford will use VW’s modular MEB platform for all-electric merchandise it plans to construct in Europe.
On the time the deal was introduced, officers from each Ford and VW burdened that it didn’t preclude them from forming further tie-ups independently.