Back when Daimler had a stake in Tesla, CEO Darth Dieter turned down a chance to invest in the Tesla Gigafactory on grounds that it was too risky. That’s what he told the press, anyway. Well, lo and behold, look who’s breaking ground on his own pseudogigafactory. It’s not as vertically integrated as Tesla’s factory, however, since Daimler is buying off-the-shelf LG batteries. Tesla engineers its own, with Panasonic as production partner.
This is quite a turnaround for Dieter, but it says even more about his ex-Mercedes chief Steve L. Cannon.* He talked trash about Tesla and EVs in general, in April of 2015. “The potential of fully electric vehicles for the rest of my life and a good portion of the rest of your life will be limited.” Cannon was gone by the end of the year. Tesla proceeded to give Mercedes a violent wedgie by capturing a third of the luxury car market.
For new readers, Dieter Zetsche is Darth Dieter because he saved Tesla’s life during the Great Recession by buying TSLA shares and commissioning a bunch of electric Smart cars. So, like him or not, he’s yo daddy.
*The L is for Loose.