Tsuyoshi Mochimaru, analyst with Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Co., said electric vehicles comprise such a small portion of the market that the Tesla partnership can’t be viewed as any plus.
“There is always that potential it will grow, but so far nobody knows what it means,” said Mochimaru.
Tesla, based in Palo Alto, California, employs about 800 people and recently opened its first Asian showroom in Tokyo. Tesla is retooling a California plant that had been jointly run by Toyota and General Motors Co.
Although the Tesla partnership was announced just five months ago, a “concept,” or test, model of the electric RAV-4 sport utility vehicle is being shown at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week, Toyoda said.
“We have much more to learn than Toyota does,” he said.