If we were in charge of a legacy automaker, and we were actually, honestly serious about the future of electrification, just seeing the image above would make us compelled to consider a business partnership with Tesla, though many other variables might make us think twice. Still, if all we could do was secure the use of the global Supercharger network, we'd be well on our way to the prospects of a promising future.
With that said, few legacy automakers really seem that serious about electric cars. They claim to be, and some are proving themselves much more than others, but many of the compelling products are still just coming to light. It could be many years before most OEMs are truly diving headfirst into EVs. However, a widespread and reliable charging network, in addition to the most up-to-date battery tech and software could accelerate a legacy brand almost overnight. Let's not forget, while some Tesla fans may be slow to admit it, there are also ways Tesla could benefit from a legacy brand as well.
Accord to a recent report from Reuters, Daimler would likely be Tesla's best option if it were to move forward with a merger. In fact, the publication says the German automaker could be "Elon Musk's Time Warner."
Musk recently reiterated that he may be open to a deal with another brand. However, Reuters says it would likely need to be a luxury brand or at least a manufacturer that has luxury brands under its umbrella. Reuters also says it would make sense if the brand had a "low-voltage electric-vehicle strategy." These assumed qualifications exclude Ford and GM right off the bat. Lincoln and Cadillac are luxury brands, but they don't compare to iconic German luxury marques.
Moving to European automakers, Volkswagen Group is likely the first to come to mind for many people. However, the company is already moving quickly into electric vehicles and has its own new electric vehicle platform. BMW is a strong Tesla competitor, but Reuters points to family ownership as being an issue related to a potential merger. In addition, the publication says Japanese automakers are historically difficult to acquire.
There are certainly other options aside from those mentioned above, but it seems Daimler may be the best choice based on the information reported by Reuters. It's the world's top-selling luxury brand and it has only dabbled in true electrification. Daimler has a strong foundation in Europe and China, and it would increase Tesla's sales by about four times. Moreover, Daimler and Tesla already have a history of partnering up.
Reuters briefly explained the market side of a potential merger as well. It shared:
"Under U.S. stock-exchange rules, Tesla would only need shareholder approval if it increased its outstanding shares by 20%. At Tesla’s current equity value, Musk could theoretically snap up a target worth $100 billion or more. With a luxurious 40% premium, he could buy the Benz empire without even asking permission."
Do you think Tesla will ever partner up with another automaker? If so, which brand? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.