Toyota surrenders stake in Tesla Motors looks to develop 'aerial solutions'
05 June 2017
Toyota has surrendered its entire stake in Tesla Motors Inc to conclude the relationship the two companies had shared for over half-decade.
Bloomberg reported on Saturday that the Japanese automaker had sold all of its stock in entrepreneur Elon Musk's flagship company in 2016, which amounted to 1.43 per cent of the company as of last July.
According to a Toyota spokeswoman who spoke to Bloomberg, the sale represented the end of the companies' dealings (at least for the present), which kicked off into high gear in 2010.
According to Bloomberg, Toyota bought into Tesla's eco-driven operation for $50 million that year, and also sold its own disused factory in California to the younger automaker. After the venture ran into trouble, the Japanese firm is working on its own to deliver affordable electric vehicles in the US.
Toyota has also joined hands with a very special kind of auto startup, and Quartz reported, the company had invested around $386,000, or ¥42.5 million, in a 30-person Japanese startup called Cartivator Resource Management, which was developing a ride known as SkyDrive.
According to Cartivator and BBC News, the approximately nine-and-a-half-foot vehicle would be able to fly at up to 62 miles per hour at close to 33 feet above the ground, or be driven at 93 miles per hour on top of it. According to the startup's website, they hoped to provide people in developing countries with a viable transportation option when lack of infrastructure would leave them unable to travel and inhibit economic growth.
The rudimentary prototype of a flying car would whisk a driver through the air to light the Olympic torch in Tokyo in summer 2020.
Though it was not officially collaborating with Toyota, the automaker confirmed to USA Today, that it was conducting its own early-stage research and also some of its employees were aiding the start-up on a voluntary basis.
Toyota said its own flying car ambitions were "in the very early stages" adding that "nothing has been decided yet about commercialization."
However, according to commentators, the involvement of the company reflected a serious step forward for flying cars, even as a debate was underway over whether they were realistic at all.