Toyota Hit Brakes on Tesla Partnership -- WSJ

By Sean McLain Features Dow Jones Newswires

Toyota Motor Corp. sold its stake in Tesla Motors Inc. some time last year, the company said, formally ending a partnership between the car makers.

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A spokesman for the Japanese car maker on Saturday declined to say when the transaction occurred or how much Toyota made from the sale. But Tesla shares have been on a tear, rising more than 50% in the past year.

Toyota owned 2.3 million shares in Tesla in March last year, and its stake was valued at Yen53.1 billion ($480 million) at the time, according to the most recent disclosure from the company.

The two companies teamed up in 2010 to work on electric vehicles. Toyota took a $50 million stake in the maker of electric cars and SUVs. In return, Tesla produced components for the battery-powered version of the RAV4 crossover sport-utility vehicle.

Toyota sold a portion of its Tesla holdings in 2014, after announcing it would stop using Tesla as a supplier for the electric RAV4, which is no longer sold.

The sale of the rest of its stake marks the formal end of the relationship between one of the world's largest car makers and the Silicon Valley upstart.

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It comes as Toyota President Akio Toyoda leads an effort to build a homegrown electric vehicle.

Tesla, meanwhile, is gearing up to start production of its mass market Model 3 sedan this year.

Write to Sean McLain at sean.mclain@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 05, 2017 02:47 ET (06:47 GMT)