NAGOYA -- Toyota Motor has sold some of its shares in U.S. electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors, signaling that the partners will scale down their cooperation in electric car development, The Nikkei learned Thursday.
The Japanese automaker formed a capital and business partnership with Tesla in 2010, investing $50 million and holding a roughly 2.4% stake in the company as of March 31. It apparently sold an undisclosed portion of those shares on the market. Tesla's stock price has jumped more than 10-fold since Toyota bought in. Had the Japanese company sold a 1% stake, it would have reaped roughly 10 billion yen ($92 million) in capital gains.
Tesla announced earlier that it will stop supplying Toyota with lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles by the year-end.
While stepping back from the electric vehicle collaboration, Toyota plans to continue to work with Tesla in such areas as technology for plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Major carmakers appear to be distancing themselves from Tesla. Germany's Daimler ended its capital partnership with the U.S. company on Wednesday.