Toyota has revealed that is has divested itself of a five percent stake in American EV manufacturer Tesla.
The sale was made towards the end of 2016, however Toyota has only recently reported the reported the transaction.
Toyota’s sale of Tesla stock marks the end of a partnership between the two companies that began in 2010, with Toyota backing the fledgling EV maker at a time when its only production model was the Lotus-based Tesla Roadster.
The most visible sign of the partnership came in 2012 when Toyota launched a version of the then-current RAV4 powered by a version of Tesla’s engine and battery system, available in limited numbers in select US markets until 2014.
The partnership was also a key factor in Toyota selling its Fremont, California factory to Tesla, to create the production facility for Tesla’s Model S and Model X.
Toyota’s decision to release it share in Tesla appears to be driven by diverging paths of the two brands, with Toyota investing heavily into hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, a technology that while Tesla CEO Elon Musk has publicly called “incredibly dumb”.
Toyota won’t go without a presence in the growing electric vehicle market with reports suggesting that the Japanese automaker is set to develop its own electric car sub-brand that could potentially become a Tesla rival.
Tesla’s next new model launch is expected to take place in July, with the medium-sized Model 3 sedan set to make electric vehicles more accessible, generating a huge amount of consumer interest prior to its launch.
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