Daimler Terminates All Ties With Tesla

1 year ago by Eric Loveday 42

The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive Got A Little Sportier Look For 2015 (InsideEVs/ Tom Moloughney)

The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive Got A Little Sportier Look For 2015 (InsideEVs/ Tom Moloughney)

2015 Mercedes B-Class ED Dash Cluster

2015 Mercedes B-Class ED Dash Cluster

This termination has been know for quite some time now, but it was confirmed again at the recent Geneva Motor Show.

Tesla had hoped for an extension to its supply deal with Daimler, but that’s not going to happen.

Harald Kröger, head of development for electric vehicles at Mercedes-Benz, says that Daimler will no longer work with Tesla on electric car projects because the automaker is now capable of of carrying out such endeavors on its own:

“We have the B-Class Electric Drive an excellent project with Tesla and work very well with the colleagues. Follow-up projects are however not currently planned, because we can provide future excellence ourselves.”

Daimler acquired a major stake in Tesla back in 2009. It has since sold off all its Tesla shares.

In the gear up for producing its own electric cars, Daimler announced a significant battery factory investment during the Geneva Motor Show.

Automobilwoche reports (via crude Google Translate):

“The new plant will be commissioned in summer in 2017.”

“2018 will bring new electric models with significantly longer range than previously on the market the carmakers – including about a SUV based on the GLC, which should come 500 km on a single charge. Parallel to this is likely the next generation of the B-Class with its own technology to be launched.”

Source: Automobilwoche

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42 responses to "Daimler Terminates All Ties With Tesla"

  1. R.S. says:

    The translation of the paragraph on AutomobilWoche would be: “The carmaker wants to bring new EVs with increased ranges to market, no later than 2018. One of them will be a SUV based on the GLC, which should be able to dive 500km on one charge. The next generation B-Class [electric] should enter the market around the same time, using Daimlers own technology.”

    1. evcarnut says:

      They used Tesla to make a half $$ billion dollars $$$ off the Tesla stock when they sold out. Now that they have all the access they need to Tesla’s innovative technologies .., They can Provide “FUTURE EXCELLENCE” THEMSELVES…They got what they set out for , So now kick Them to the curb! Mercedes Benz , NICE GUYS Aren’t they!

      1. AlphaEdge says:

        Shesh. No Mercedes should be forced to do business with Tesla.

        Harald Kröger has said, you’ve have been TERMINATED!!!

        TERMINATED!!!

        TERMINATED!!!

      2. Alonso Perez says:

        Huh? Tesla went to Daimler to get the original investment in order to survive at a moment where they were nearly out of cash. Be glad they got the money, because otherwise there might be no Tesla now.

        Tesla got the winning end of the deal. Daimler got some money (from stock buyers, not from Tesla, but in exchange for that they kept alive a future competitor who is now eating their lunch in the S Class category in several markets.

        Even worse, it delayed Daimler’s own development efforts. The Germans have been horribly slow to understand Tesla. BMW got it first, then Daimler, and only recently VW, if they are sincere.

      3. R.S. says:

        I was just translating the article, not saying its nice of them. But they invested money into a business and sold their share when they realized that they could not buy Tesla and having a less than 10% share doesn’t give you any control over the company. That they start to build their own drivetrain now is just the sensible move. Depending on a future core competitor is more than risky.

        1. AlphaEdge says:

          I was responding to evcarnut.

      4. Hannes says:

        I agree.

  2. Tom says:

    Did Tesla have any comment?

    1. sven says:

      No, but Reuters quoted Daimler’s CEO, Dieter Zetsche, making the following comment: “I’ll be back.”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yubso_i0ZCI&feature=iv&src_vid=WgPePk3kGZk&annotation_id=annotation_3562219385

      1. evcarnut says:

        N0,,,, ! that was Anold that said that ….l o l …..

  3. Elroy says:

    I have been driving the new 2016 GLC 300 AWD. Its a really nice driving SAV. 5.9 secs 0-60mph.But in town im only averaging 15mpg. I do at least 6 times better in-town efficiency driving the EVs.

  4. CDAVIS says:

    For 2015 in North America, Tesla sold more Model S cars than the combined Daimler large luxury sedan category (including Mercedes S class) making Tesla Model S the best selling large luxury sedan in 2015…this statistic and its significance are not widely reported.

    And Tesla will soon be revealing the Model 3 that will certainly eat into Daimler’s midsize luxury car market share.

    Although some ties between Diamler & Tesla have been discontinued, significant other ties remain in particular Tesla sourcing several key parts from Dialmer’s automotive parts division.

    1. jerryd says:

      It’s all the other makers too lost market share, production in that class vs Tesla which increased 61% last yr.
      Car companies investing in making cells has never worked.
      Tesla is a battery, electronics, computer company that makes cars.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        jerryd said:

        “Car companies investing in making cells has never worked.”

        I’m sure that will come as big news to BYD and Nissan.

        “Tesla is a battery, electronics, computer company that makes cars.”

        Seems odd to claim that an auto maker which sold cars for eight years before ever making a single battery cell of its own, and then partnered with an established battery cell maker to do that, is a “battery company”.

        Claiming Tesla Energy is a “battery company” would be an exaggeration, but at least there is some sense to it. Claiming Telsa Motors is a “battery company” is simply untrue.

        1. jerryd says:

          PP, it’ll be a surprise to them you call BYD a car company when it, like Tesla is a battery, electronics company.
          Like Tesla they only built EV’s to move their main product, batteries,
          electronics.
          As for Nissan building their own batteries you haven’t been reading much as it hasn’t worked out well for them, having to switch to LG cells as theirs died too fast, especially in heat.

  5. Gary says:

    i am wondering if tesla will still be able get sensors and other Mercedes parts they use on the model S?

    1. Rebel44 says:

      Yes, they will – those parts are made by external suppliers, who gladly sell to anyone.

      1. Gary says:

        The parts I am referring to aren’t. They are manufactured by Daimler and Musk negotiated for them while he supplied the powertrains to them.

  6. SparkEV says:

    Will B class be another Rav4EV, and quickchargepower.com to the rescue with Jdemo?

    1. This article is misleading… neither Toyota nor Daimler ever intended to have long-term business with Tesla. I seriously doubt that “Tesla hoped” for anything.

      Those cars were built to comply with worldwide emission standards and now both Toyota and Daimler are on their own.

      Toyota, of course, with hydrogen cars, and Daimler still getting Tesla batteries and motors for YEARS until Daimler has a B-Class ED (B250e) replacement.

      Yes, we will have JdeMO for the B-Class ED. There are far more potential customers than either the Tesla Roadster or Toyota RAV4 EV.

  7. sveno says:

    More competition – good. MBs are the only cars I have really loved.

    Also – wondering how long Teslas are going to have those MB gear sticks.

  8. Alaa says:

    I am surprised that Mercedes helped Tesla from the start! Tesla is already years ahead. Take the GigaFactory for starters. Mercedes was foolish to give Tesla a helping hand.
    As mention here Tesla sold more cars than Mercedes. In Switzerland Tesla sold more cars than a good hand full other manufactures all combined. Mercedes never thought that this little helping hand could end up killing Mercedes. There is no telling what will happen when Tesla gets into the trucks world. Mercedes will die if Tesla gets an electric truck first.

    If anything this statement shows how scared Mercedes is.

    1. Sommer says:

      Mercedes sold almost 2 000 000 cars in 2015, Tesla wants to sell 500 000 cars per year. I don’t think Tesla wants to kill anyone, I guess when Tesla sells 500 000 cars per year, Elon Musk will leave Tesla and concentrate on his space and mars projects.

      1. Alaa says:

        Can you imagine what the demand be like foe EVs if Tesla alone sells 500 000 cars as you say?

    2. Braben says:

      “As mention here Tesla sold more cars than Mercedes.”

      MB sold about 1.9 million cars in 2015, while Tesla sold about 50,000. Tesla sold more cars than the MB S class in a few markets, but the S class is only a small portion of their sales and revenue.

      Also, interestingly enough, in absolute terms S class sales actually grew from 2014 to 2015, indicating that Tesla wasn’t so much stealing sales from it, but rather bringing in new customers to the high-end luxury car market.

      1. CDAVIS says:

        @Braden said: “…Also, interestingly enough, in absolute terms S class sales actually grew from 2014 to 2015, indicating that Tesla wasn’t so much stealing sales from it, but rather bringing in new customers to the high-end luxury car market.”
        ———-

        Agreed Tesla has brought in new customers to the luxury car market but for North America there is no doubt that Tesla cut some into the Mercedes S-Class market share:

        Mercedes-Benz S-Class North America
        FY2015:21934
        FY2014:25276
        Net Change: -13.22%

        I personally know 2 guys that have traded-in their Mercedes S-Class for a Tesla Model S. I have not heard of anyone that has traded the other way. The only Tesla trade-ins I’ve heard of is trading up to a newer Tesla.

        Anyone out there reading this that has traded-in their Tesla for a non-Tesla?

        1. Braben says:

          I believe the slight drop in 2015 US sales has nothing to do with Tesla, but is simply due to the fact that 2014 sales were exceptional because of the introduction of a new model. For comparison, in 2013 they sold only 13,303 S-class cars in the US …

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Alaa said:

      “Mercedes was foolish to give Tesla a helping hand.”

      You make it sound as if Mercedes has been giving charity to Tesla; as if it was an indulgence to “allow” some of their suppliers to also supply Tesla. They haven’t, and they’re not. They don’t have an exclusive contract with those suppliers… obviously.

      Nor was Daimler giving charity to Tesla when they contracted for EV powertrains for their B-Class Electric Drive. As with most good business contracts, both companies thought it was beneficial to them.

      1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        http://www.techinsider.io/elon-musk-shares-the-miracle-that-saved-tesla-2015-12

        Tesla would be long dead and forgotten without Daimler help.

  9. wavelet says:

    Pretty much as expected.
    Daimler made an original early investment in Tesla, mostly to build some knowledge about EVs. Using Tesla as a supplier for the B-Class ED also made sense in that context.

    However, since MB has since decided they are going to take EViifcation seriously (PHEV + BEV), it’s become a core tech, and so not something they want to outsource… They’re even going to do more battery production in house as was reported by InsideEVs a few days ago.

    The only surprising thing here was, if true, that Tesla was hoping for an extension… I’d have thought Tesla needed all its capacity for its own cars.

  10. James says:

    The B class disappointed because it was/is such an electron guzzler. I drove one recently and was disappointed by how heavy it felt. Strangely, the RAV4EV, which is essentially the same drivetrain, handles and feels much lighter (also an electron guzzler). Tesla really needs to work on efficiency more than blazing speed for the Model 3.

    1. Bill Howland says:

      “….Electron Guzzlers…”

      Exactly how and when does this happen?

      Just normal driving?
      Nightly Vampire drain?
      Or, does it really get bad when the car is stored overnight in the very cold and unplugged?

    2. techguy says:

      I have a B-class for about 2 years now and I love it!
      Electron guzzler is a funny term, I spent about $2 worth a month in electricity for my car (yes, measured!), but it looks, fells, and handles like a luxury car, not a science experiment.
      I guess if it was not such an electron guzzler, I would spend only about $1.50! I can afford the difference for the pleasure of a luxury car….

  11. Elroy says:

    Yeah…I think the B class was rated at only 79mpge or so around town. Still a nice car…if only it had DCFC and rear wheel drive. The thing would spin its front tires uselessly when I drove it with the traction control off. Under the same conditions, the just as quick i3 doesnt even chirp its rear tires.

    Still amazing the RAV4 and B class with its huge batteries dont have DCQC. That combined with the low efficiency does not make for much fun waiting for a L2 charge during a road trip.

  12. Westchester EV says:

    B Class is great for a normal day – as the average daily commute is 60 miles per day. Plenty for the normal charge of 79 miles. With the “range” charge – you go to 100 miles.

    So destination/workplace charging works too.

    DCQC would be great for road trips. Otherwise, I have to give up my Tesla.

  13. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    The reason Daimler (and Toyota, with the RAV4 EV) went to Tesla to build EV drivetrains for them, was that they didn’t want to spend the resources to do it themselves for a car that was just a test market and/or California compliance vehicle.

    So it’s a good thing that Daimler has decided to, finally, develop their own EV tech. Obviously they had to do that at some point, unless (like Toyota) they want to see their entire line of cars become obsolete.

    Seems strange to look at this as if it’s a reflection on Tesla… which it’s not. It’s a reflection on Daimler.

  14. ffbj says:

    Makes sense to me. Tesla taught how to make an ev and now they are cutting ties, and view Tesla as a rival so they will help them. Reminds me of a song, about how someone helps some make it and then gets ditched:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_74N7KJmEj4

    1. ffbj says:

      Stupid of me, some stupid remix. I meant this version:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EHpozHn-QA

  15. QC says:

    Why do so many commenters here forget Tesla’s #1 goal “advent the use of electric cars”

    5 years ago it would have been unheard of that Germany’s biggest carmakers would be racing to build battery factories and EV product families. Imagine how life will be in the next five years
    – Autonomous cars
    – Electric cars counting for half of new cars sold
    – Renewable majority powered grid
    – Introduction of the cheap Tesla Model “T” (the one they will produce in millions)

  16. Omar Sultan says:

    The MB-hating is misplaced–Daimler’s investment in Tesla came at a critical juncture in the company’s history. In interviews, Musk has said he viewed that investment more critical to the company’s survival than the ATVM loan.

  17. Bill Howland says:

    Oh I took the headline the other way around. I was wondering what the S and X were going to do now that they won’t have Mercedes Steering columns and related switchgear. You’d think that would change the ‘look’ from MB to someone else.

    That is if they terminate absolutely ALL dealings with each other.

    As far as MB making their own EV’s, they seem to do all right with their current Smart42EV and the $500,000 EV roadster, which never had anything Tesla in it.

    Diamler got lucky with Tesla Stock, but they took a bath on Chrysler. So their investment decisions haven’t always been that great.

  18. ModernMarvelFan says:

    It just means that MB views Tesla as a good competitors now.

    It validates Tesla position and good for the buyers now everyone will compete.