Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) announced four years ago that they intend to cooperate on the development of electric vehicles, parts, systems and engineering support. CEO and Cofounder of Tesla, Elon Musk, and Toyota President, Akio Toyoda, announced about the partnership deal in May 2010. In a recent development, the relationship between Musk and Toyoda turned sour and short-circuited the partnership between the two automotive companies. Bloomberg’s Craig Trudell reported on Bloomberg TV about this.
Trudell reported on the circumstances, which initiated the partnership between Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) way back in 2010. Toyota motor was closing a plant, which was operated for General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) for a decade.
Trudell said that Akio Toyoda asked for a meeting with Elon Musk to sell the plant. Toyoda and Musk had a meeting at Musk’s residence, followed by a ride in Musk’s Tesla Roadster.
“[…] They very quickly understood that they had some things in common, they said, and decided that in addition to selling the plant to Tesla, Toyota was going to make a small investment in Tesla, and was going to put together a deal, where Tesla would provide the battery and power train for an electric vehicle and that turned out to be Toyota Rav4 EV”, Trudell added.
Trudell mentioned the Musk had high hopes on Rav4. He added that both the companies decided to build 2,600 of these Rav4 vehicles and sell them over the span of three years. Trudell pointed out the fact that less than 2,000 Rav4 were built in the past four years, whereas 20,000 Model S sedan was sold by Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) in 2013. Trudell said that Rav4 did not live up to the expectation of both the companies.
Trudell thinks that the other factor which broke the partnership was the conflict between employees of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM). He said that the two companies agreed to work on developing the vehicle together, but very little information was passed on to the employees on what the companies will be working on.