June 3, 2017 / 5:37 AM / in 2 months

Toyota sells all shares in Tesla as their tie-up ends

The Toyota logo is seen on a car in a park lot in Sao Paulo, Brazil June 2, 2017.Paulo Whitaker

TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp said on Saturday it had sold all shares in Tesla Inc by the end of 2016, having cancelled its tie-up with the U.S. luxury automaker to jointly develop electric vehicles.

Japan's biggest automaker had bought around a 3 percent stake in the Palo Alto-based automaker for $50 million.

Toyota spokesman Ryo Sakai said the company had sold all of its shares in Tesla as of the end of 2016, part of a regular, periodic review of its investments, after it had initially sold down a portion in 2014.

"Our development partnership with Tesla ended a while ago, and since there has not been any new developments on that front, we decided it was time to sell the remaining stake," he said.

In November, the Japanese automaker appointed its president to lead their newly-formed electric car division, flagging its commitment to develop a technology that it has been slow to embrace.

The department comprises a new in-house unit to plan Toyota's strategy to develop and market electric cars as part of the company's efforts to keep pace with tightening global emissions regulations.

Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu, Writing by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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