As a precursor to future joint ventures, Abu Dhabi investment firm Aabar has purchased 4% of Daimler's stake in American electric car company Tesla Motors.
This development goes with the growing trend for tie-ups between traditionally European brands and Middle Eastern investment firms. Aston Martin's primary shareholder is the Kuwaiti firm Investment Dar while Porsche is in talks with Qatar.
Reuter reports that the details of the future of the joint ventures are still under discussion, but statements from both Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche and Aabar chairman Khadem Al Qubaisi make it clear that there will be future cooperation.
Zetsche said, "We are pleased that Aabar is supporting us with the development of battery systems and electric powertrains, accelerating the worldwide commercialization of electric vehicles.
The all-electric Smart ED is one of the projects being worked on through Daimler's partnership with Tesda, however, there's potential for broadening Tesla's electric technology to include luxury sedans. The Aabar purchase of Daimler's stake follows on the March purchase of a 9.1% stake in Daimler itself.