Toyota to put up for sale its shares in Tesla

Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. has just announced last Friday that it has sold some of its shares in Tesla Motors Inc., shortly after German-based luxury car manufactured Daimler AG revealed that it had sold its Tesla shares that resulted to a hefty return of investment.

Toyota said that the company’s sale of its stake is part of the regular evaluation investment portfolio and added that it has a good relationship with Tesla and will assess the viability of teaming up together on projects in the future.

Toyota placed a $50 million worth of investment in Tesla in 2010, which is on the verge of starting to carve out a niche in the market. Japanese-based company had announced last March that it owned 2.4% stake in Tesla shares, which is worth around $690 million.

Tesla had announced early this year that it will probably put a halt on its accord to sell batteries to Toyota. The executives of Toyota have made criticisms on electric cars, stating that vehicles driven by fuel cells running on hydrogen are a better option as a substitute to gasoline or diesel fuels. Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk returned the favor by hurling criticisms on fuel cells.

Toyota hasn’t disclosed how many of its Tesla shares were sold. Daimler few days ago stated that the company had divested its entire 4% stake in Tesla that amounted to a lofty $780M.

Daimler and Toyota had amassed remarkable gains on their early investments in Tesla. Now the two titans in car making industry now treat Tesla as a stiff competitor.

The Model S sedan of Tesla which has an entry-level price of $71,000, is in direct collision course with Daimler’s Mercedes S-class and Toyota’s Lexus LS sedans for the high-end costumers in the United States, Europe and emerging market China.

Tesla shares had soared to its highest at $291last year, but since September this year, Tesla’s share price has somewhat lost is steam as it dropped to about 19%.

Toyota’s announcement of its intention to sell its shares in Tesla was first reported by Japan’s Nikkei financial news service.

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