Report Claims Volkswagen Wanted To Buy Into Tesla


Musk was reportedly suspicious of the offer.

What do you get when you cross a Tesla Model 3 with a Volkswagen I.D. Buzz? It looks like we’re never going to find out, but it might have been legitimate speculation had the deal to take the California automaker private gone through. The company’s CEO Elon Musk put an end to the privatization talks with a blog post late last Friday, but some details of a potential deal have now leaked out and it appears the huge German group would have had a prominent role.

It wouldn’t have been the main investor. That position may have gone to the Silver Lake private-equity group with as much as a $30 billion stake. This, after the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) interest may have wilted in the face of Musk’s public presumption about its willingness to put up big bucks. Regardless, any investment from another automaker would have made huge headlines.

An article in the Wall Street Journal claims that Volkswagen was among those interested in a piece of the private-Tesla action, though. No mention was made regarding the size of the stake they had wanted, but there is a good chance it was a big enough piece to give it some amount of voice in the affairs of Tesla going forward. According to the report, Musk was “deeply suspicious of rival car companies, believing they wanted to piggyback on what he called the “Tesla halo”. 

This would seem to be at odds with Musk’s historical perspective on help from other automakers. He has, many times, publicly stated that investment from Daimler helped save the company from bankruptcy when it was struggling back in 2009. Toyota also invested in its pre-public days in 2010. Both companies long ago exited those positions, having made a healthy return.

With its dieselgate scandal mostly behind it, we’re not so sure this would have been anything but a strategic investment for VW. The Wolfsburg-based outfit has launched the Electrify America high-speed charging network as part of its penance for the NOx-reporting malfeasance and now doesn’t offer vehicles that burn that type of fuel. Its halo-burnishing is already well underway.

Ironically, it’s this network that that may also have diminished the need for technological cross-pollinization. With the Tesla Supercharger system being seen as one of its deepest moats, an investment by VW could have made a great drawbridge — to continue the Medieval metaphor — and allowed the two to fortify themselves from competitors. Now, with its SAE Combo/Chademo charging network being built, lack of access to Tesla’s large charging grid will be seen as less of an impediment to future VW EV sales.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Categories: Tesla, Volkswagen

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34 Comments on "Report Claims Volkswagen Wanted To Buy Into Tesla"

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If that would have happened, no Tesla for me anymore!

For the record, there’s at least 2 Johns at this site.

Steven Loveday- if I change my user name for clarification would I be blocked?

No, you should be fine. If not, I will immediately whitelist you. Thanks, John.

Thanks Steven. When I do I’ll likely furnish my old name in the comment to be above board and so I can’t be accused of hiding behind a new name!

I was trying to think what could be worse than the Saudis grabbing a chunk of Tesla ownership. VW may just be the answer.

How about the Koch brothers?

You got it!

Just thought the same about The Koch network of oil industry and coal barons “Kochtopus”, just to buy shares (still cheap years ago) to close Tesla down to keep the oil flowing…..

As long as VW does not have the controlling stake in Tesla, I don’t think it matters.

The latest news is that Apple wants to invest in Tesla if it remains public.

Sarcasm? Or Source?
So hard to tell anymore…

This says nothing about Apple investing. This is an article on why they should.

That news is about Gene Munster wanting Apple to invest….

Fake News…⁉️


Then I’m sure the US factory would be closed down, and all the manufacturing would have been offshored to a contract manufacturer – just like Apple to with their stuff. Tesla made by Foxconn or something like that..

It looks like every freaking company is now interested in buying a chunk of Tesla…

I’m not a company and I’m interested in buying a chunk of Tesla.

Yeah, that’s why their price is coming down. To maje it available for everyone!

I’m surprised VW would have any money left for such things after the Dieselgate settlements.

The settlement is 2 billion dollars. Thats less than 20% of last years profit. Not revenue, profit!

Largest Automotive company in the world

Companies like that are huge. Didn’t they buy batteries worth almost the same as all of Tesla?

And if you really study companies like that – you will see they own a lof of other stuff too. It may be machine manufacturers, foundries, makers of foundry equipment, electronics manufacturers and what not.

Just like if you google all the manufacturers of famous food and snack brands in the US – and you find out that 3-4 companies owns almost all the famous stuff..

VW was making 17 billion Euro profit in the year when the Dieselgate popped up. The 25 Billion penalties + re-purchase cost are already financially digested (pushed down to even more squeezed subcontractors for example).

The VW diesel car scandal had nothing to do with CO2 as stated in the article. CO2 and water are the end products of perfect combustion of hydrocarbon fuels. It was about nitrogen oxides (NOx) a byproduct of imperfect combustion (a traditional pollutant).

Good catch, thank you.

Diesel engines have excess air in the combustion process, which basically makes more nitrogen oxides then a gasoline engine when the combustrion process start with heat from the compressino. A diesel engine emit way less CO2 (a greenhouse gas) then a gasoline engine.

But that is in general.. with add blue, the nitrogen oxide levels drop a lot.
A more expensive product like a large truck, can be fitted with an even more advanced exhaust cleaning system, and may emmit less nitrogen oxides then a small car with a small engine.

there will be released slightly redesigned diesel engines for 2019-2020 which will have even lower levels. For a period in some locations, that may be a solution, but the pressure from EVs are about to start in 2019..

Dieselgate mostly behind it? I would say that’s a rather liberal reading of the situation. Almost to date there have been new revelations coming out concerning the scope and depth of that scandal embroiling the VW group. They will be living with that dark decision, to intentionally cheat the system, and then cover it up, for years to come.

I think all the manufacturers of diesel engines did have some kind of software installed, in some models – well not maybe BMW .. but the rest. They were activated by time, or temperature. That was all due to nitrogen oxides in the exhaust.

Toyota uses BMW engines in their diesel cars, so these probably use BMW firmware too.

Do you have a source to back that claim about every carmaker (except BMW) having a software to purposely cheat ?

It would have been perfect. They could have set up shop in Europe

The source article claims otherwise.