Tesla Thanks Toyota CEO with a 2011 Roadster Sport 2.5

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Finding the perfect gift to say thank you is a difficult task. Finding the right thank you present is a fine line between a gift that will convey that special message and something you know is unique.  

So what do you give the CEO that has everything, especially if he runs the world’s largest automaker and has just helped invest $110 million in your firm?

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors knew exactly what to give Akio Toyoda, the CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation to thank Toyoda for believing in his Silicon Valley firm. 

To commemorate tomorrow’s official opening of Tesla’s first Japanese store and as a small thank you to Toyoda for choosing Tesla as drivetrain partners for Toyota’s new electric car, Musk presented Akio Toyoda with a Radiant Red 2011 Tesla Roadster Sport 2.5.

We drove the car back in October and found its performance exhilarating, styling classic and handling impeccable. 

With less than a week to go before Toyota unveils the 2013 Toyota RAV4 EV at the LA Autoshow, Toyoda’s new ride couldn’t have been better timed. 

Toyota invested $50 million in Tesla earlier this year, followed by an announcement that the two companies would work together to build electric cars. The result: a Tesla-Toyota engineered recreation of the Crossover SUV RAV4 EV missed by so many since Toyota ceased production of it in 2003.

Elon Musk Shows Akio Toyoda 2011 Tesla Roadster Sport 2.5

Elon Musk Shows Akio Toyoda 2011 Tesla Roadster Sport 2.5

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With Tesla’s Q3 losses taking a further hit over the same time last year, Toyota’s all-electric RAV4 could be the key to improving the company books. 

Musk has come under heavy criticism for the way in which he runs Tesla Motors, but this is the first time the company has given away a car. Earlier this year, the firm gave the full sticker price of its 1,000th production car to charity but the car itself was purchased by a customer. 

Moreover, Tesla has loaned cars to journalists and celebrities like Tony Hawk - but never given them away. It has never even discounted a car for a customer, sponsor or promoter. A list celebrities, investors and fans all pay the same price. 

With such an unprecedented grand gesture the ceremony, which took place in Tesla’s new Tokyo store, further cements the business bond between the Japanese auto giant and the Silicon Valley firm. 

And while we think giving away the 2011 Tesla Roadster Sport 2.5 is significant, remember that Toyota invested 1,000 times that in Tesla. It seems only fair Toyoda gets a little something for his company’s trouble. 



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Comments (5)
  1. It's interesting to watch this alliance; the question: What does Toyota expect to gain from all this? You know they have the necessary knowledge in BEVs already and can release a BEV to the market at any time. I see a friendly takeover down the road.

  2. We don't know for sure that Toyota any longer has the prople who helped build the RAV4 EV. GM lost most of their EV1 engineers, so that knowledge went with them. There's no reason to assume that the RAV4 EV engineers are still working at Toyota. The investment in Tesla is far cheaper than what GM has put into the Volt, by almost and order of magnitude. Toyota's investment to get a 2013 RAV4 EV - $110 million. GM's investment in the Volt, around $1 billion.

  3. perhaps they are looking for toyesla ?
    musk has more on the plate than just building cars.
    he seems to be much more interested in gaining funding.
    there is a reason for this. and all will come out in the wash, eventually.

  4. Like Henry Ford, all-electric car builders have got to bring the price down on these things. Until then the whole industry will be country-clubbing it to their own doom. It's all about the money, no one else has Jay Leno's fortune to toy with these things. Nissan is not it with their toy Leaf, either. Mitsubishi with their i-MiEV starts talking some sense in to the rest of the industry.

  5. Both the Leaf and the Mitsubishi are better suited as urban cars and are not well suited for Highway miles because of their limited range of 75 miles or so. Tesla is the only and I mean only EV maker that markets highway capable vehicles that can be used to go between cities on the interstates. The rest of the feild its but mere commuter cars. Thats why Toyota is interested since the regenerative braking technology alone is responsible for an additional 30 or so miles range and Tesla has developed lots of its own technology that even big auto makers are interested in.

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