- Alfa Romeo
- Aston Martin
- Land Rover
With both Honda and BMW already announcing that they will not return to Formula 1 next year, now Mercedes’s involvement in the series has come into doubt. Helmut Lense, a member of the board for Mercedes’s parent company Daimler recently told a German newspaper that the company’s involvement in the world’s top level of motorsports is open for debate. “This discussion will surely continue to heat up in light of BMW’s withdrawal,” he told the Stuttgarter Nachrichten.
Daimler has just announced that it has reached an agreement with Tesla Motors Inc., that will see the German automaker gain a 10 percent stake in the California-based electric car maker.
Along with an undisclosed amount of money the agreement will help forge a partnership between the two companies as they work to bring electric vehicles to market in increasingly high numbers.
Tesla has already been working with Daimler to equip 1,000 SMART fortwo models with lithium-ion batteries for use in special test projects in Berlin and Italy. Daimler also plans to introduce an electric Mercedes vehicle by 2010.
As for Tesla, it will gain the engineering, production and supply chain expertise available at Daimler in order to move the upcoming Tesla Model S into production by 2011.
“Our strategic partnership is an important step to accelerate the commercialization of electric drives globally,” said Dr. Thomas Weber, the board member at Daimler responsible for research and development. “As a young and dynamic company, Tesla stands for visionary power and pioneering spirit. Together with Daimler’s 120 years of experience in the automotive sector this collaboration is a unique combination of two companies’ strengths. This mark another important milestone in Daimler’s strategy for sustainable mobility.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk was equally as enthusiastic about the future partnership saying Daimler is on the “leading edge of sustainable mobility.”
“Daimler has set the benchmark for engineering excellence and vehicle quality for more than a century,” said Musk. “It is an honor and a powerful endorsement of our technology that Daimler would choose to invest in and partner with Tesla.”
Official release after the jump: