Tesla's Move Into Europe May Not Be Through Volkswagen

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) shares made a handy gain early on Thursday after mixed reports surfaced as to whether German auto manufacturer Volkswagen would be looking to take a stake in Elon Musk’s brainchild.

Shares initially rose after a German business publication reported that Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess is interested in buying such a stake.

However, since then, Volkswagen spokesman Pietro Zollino has refuted these claims, calling them “completely unfounded.”

German business publication Manager Magazin was the first to report Diess’s supposed interest in acquiring a stake in Tesla. The report cited company sources who told the magazine that Diess thinks Volkswagen could stand to benefit from Tesla’s expertise in batteries and software.

While Volkswagen may not want to invest in Musk and his company, Tesla has been scouting locations in Europe for a new Gigafactory.

CNBC said of Tesla’s reach into Europe:

Executives at Tesla, which didn’t immediately comment on this story, have said a European facility will help lower transportation costs, avoid tariffs and expand availability in a market just beginning to embrace electric vehicles. Norway now sells more battery-powered vehicles than those using gas or diesel, and Tesla is the market’s number one supplier.

Shares of Tesla traded up about 0.5% on Thursday, at $221.94 in a 52-week range of $176.99 to $379.49. The consensus price target is $251.85.