What I found most interesting about this piece was how Toyota and Daimler got on board with Tesla. It seemed like those organizations saw Tesla as a catalyst that could help overcome their own bureaucratic inertia.
Toyota’s involvement with Tesla is definitely interesting. Toyota made a big miscalculation with its long insistence that hybrid technology was the only game in town for the foreseeable future.
And now… Nissan has 20,000 pre-orders for the LEAF (a pure electric vehicle).
My guess is that Akio Toyoda saw this… unfortunate development coming, and, probably after many stiff drinks, set about making sure that Tesla had its factory. In Tesla, Toyota gets a petri dish to study the design and manufacturing of EVs, and for the cost of pocket lint. This is called making up for lost time on a budget.
Four weeks later, Toyota decided to invest $50 million in Tesla. The auto giant also signed on to develop prototype electric vehicles with the startup and indicated that it would support Musk’s $42 million offer for the billion-dollar Nummi factory in Fremont.
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