How Daimler Saved Tesla And Paved The Way For An Electric Car Revolution
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) may not be here right now if it weren't for Daimler AG (OTCMKTS:DDAIF). Tesla co-founder Elon Musk poured all of his money into the company to keep it going in 2008.
Six months later, Daimler entered the fray -- and ultimately saved the day.
"That Daimler investment was really fundamental to the survival of Tesla," Musk said during a presentation at the 2015 Automotive News World Congress. "A lot of people think the government bailed us out…that's actually not true. It was the Daimler investment that saved Tesla, not government money."
Tesla did not actually receive any government funds until March 2010.
"That was after the crisis had passed," Musk explained.
Daimler may have been there when Musk needed it most, but the company sold its stake in Tesla last fall.
Millions Of Cars In 10 Years
Critics weren't the only ones who had a grim outlook for Tesla.
When the company began, Musk didn't think it had more than a 10 percent chance of success. Today he is a bit more optimistic.
"Now I think some degree of success is assured," said Musk.
That won't come easy though. To become a niche automaker, Musk said the firm would have to make 100,000 cars a year. He said that would allow the company to obtain a market share of roughly 0.1 percent.
"We at least have to get past that point to not be niche," Musk affirmed. He said that by 2020, Tesla wants to sell 500,000 cars a year. "But I think we'll probably continue past that," Musk added.
"By 2025 we can probably get to a few million cars a year. I think we're going to keep driving our volume as high as we can because our mission is fundamentally to transition the world to electric cars. So if we don't make a lot of electric cars, we're not doing as much as we can."
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.
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