It appears that one of Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) potential rivals in the upcoming EV market is looking to take a stake in the California-based electric car maker. According to a recent report from a German publication, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess is looking to acquire shares of the Silicon Valley-based company.
Citing one of the CEO’s top managers, German business publication Manager Magazin noted in a report on Thursday that Diess is interested in Tesla due to the electric car maker’s competence in electric mobility, particularly in the field of batteries and vehicle software. The news agency noted that Volkswagen has enough money to take a stake in Tesla.
“Diess would go in right away if he could,” one of the CEO’s top managers was quoted to have said, according to Reuters.
While Volkswagen does have the funds to make a significant investment in Tesla, the business publication noted that Diess would have to obtain the consent from the Piechs and the Porsches, the German automaker’s dominating families, before VW could make a significant investment in the American company. Nevertheless, the publication noted that for now, acquiring a stake in Tesla would be sufficient as a start.
Update: A spokesman for Volkswagen has recently denied Manager Magazin‘s recent report.
It should be noted that Volkswagen has shown interest in Tesla and its electric vehicle technologies for some time. During the final days of CEO Elon Musk’s brief bid to take Tesla private last year, Volkswagen emerged as one of the key investors who were willing to help raise as much as $30 billion to complete the electric car maker’s privatization efforts at $420 per share. Musk would eventually back out of the take-private deal, and Volkswagen’s interest in Tesla would remain largely hidden, at least until today.
Volkswagen’s interest in Tesla’s battery tech is understandable, especially following a report from German business newspaper Wirtschaftswoche last April, which determined that the batteries of the VW ID.3 contained over four times the cobalt of the Model 3’s batteries. According to the publication, the ID.3’s batteries contained 12-14% cobalt, while the cobalt content of the Model 3’s 2170 cells was at a far more impressive 2.8% as of last year.
Despite TSLA shares dropping significantly from its levels last year, key Tesla shareholders such as billionaire investor Ron Baron have reiterated their support for the electric car maker. In a recent CNBC segment, Baron noted that despite the stock’s volatility, Tesla remains a compelling investment since the company’s opportunities remain intact. The billionaire explained that Tesla has consistently shown remarkable growth, even at a time when the general auto industry is not showing much growth at all.
“The opportunity here is 90 million cars a year that are sold, and our guy is now going to sell 350-400,000 cars. Right now, they’re able to expand in a time when no one else is expanding in the automobile industry. So they’re able to build now in China with all the learnings that they’ve had in the United States. They’re building for 70% less than it would cost for the same cars to build in the United States and 30% less than it would have cost to build a year ago,” Baron said.
Disclosure: I have no ownership in shares of TSLA and have no plans to initiate any positions within 72 hours.