More fundamentally, the tie-up was marred by clashes between engineers, according to people with knowledge of the matter, and highlights how quickly marriages of convenience can turn sour in the auto industry. Toyota is now distancing itself from Tesla’s core electric vehicle market and embracing fuel cells, a technology Musk ridicules.
“Just because two companies are successful doesn’t mean when they come together, they will succeed,” said Ashvin Chotai, managing director of Intelligence Automotive Asia. “When you’ve got somebody threatening the status quo in an industry and they try to cooperate with the biggest player, it’s bound to lead to so many complexities.”
Representatives at Tesla and Toyota declined to comment on specific details of the RAV4 EV’s development.