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Mercedes Parent Company Daimler Sells 4-Percent Stake in Tesla

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 10/22/2014 Jake Holmes

Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler will sell its 4-percent stake in Tesla.

Daimler chairman and head of Mercedes-Benz Dieter Zetsche confirmed that the company's partnership with Tesla will continue despite Daimler divesting its shares, as Mercedes-Benz continues to, "pursue our strategy for emission-free driving"

2014 Tesla Model S© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Tesla Model S

Even after selling its stake, Daimler will continue to work with Tesla to obtain the electric drivetrain for the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive. The batteries for the electric Smart Fortwo were also sourced from Tesla. Despite Zetsche's promises of a continued partnership, it's unclear if the two companies will work on other projects in the future.

"We have supported Tesla as a startup company for many years and have learned a lot from Tesla. At the same time, Tesla was able to profit from our automotive expertise," Mercedes-Benz board member Professor Dr. Thomas Weber said in a statement.

The share sell-off is expected to be worth about $780 million to Daimler. Daimler first purchased a 9.1-percent interest in Tesla Motors in May 2009, but as Tesla's capital and funding grew, Daimler's ownership stake was diluted to today's level of about 4 percent.

Tesla direct sales ban reaffirmed in Michigan

Michigan is the latest state to confirm that direct sales of Tesla cars to consumers are illegal. Michigan governor Rick Snyder yesterday signed House Bill 5606, which clarified existing language banning sales by car manufacturers without franchised dealers.

"This bill does not, as some have claimed, prevent auto manufacturers from selling automobiles directly to consumers at retail in Michigan – because this is already prohibited under Michigan law," Snyder said in a statement.

Instead, officials said the bill was passed simply to clarify that a car manufacturer is allowed to sell its own vehicles through a different automaker's franchised dealers. However, any direct sales of cars to consumers -- which has been Tesla's business model, eschewing the traditional franchised dealership arrangement -- is illegal in Michigan.

Several states have blocked Tesla's unique sales strategy, including Arizona, Colorado, New Jersey, Texas, and Virginia.

Source: Daimler, Michigan.gov

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