There is no doubt that Tesla will be ever-profitable. However, given the opportunity to make $780 million, there is no doubt that Daimler AG made the right choice in selling its stake. Daimler AG knows how to do this sort of thing professionally. Of course it made a good choice.
It remains to be seen if Tesla will be able to deliver on promises made. From an investment perspective however, taking profits when they are there is always a smart move. Daimler AG felt that there are better options for its investment funds, and took the profits from Tesla. All investors, whether individuals or companies, should follow the same philosophy!
Daimler's selling of its shares in Tesla caused a great cash inflow needed for the company. Purchasing the shares in 2009, Dailmer can now record a gain of $730 million from this sale. According to Dailmer, this does not change the partnership between Telsa and Daimler in the manufacturing the batteries and chargers, so why not make additional money while you can. Once additional information about Dailmer's profit/loss for the year becomes more apparent, additional tax benefits may appear.
Yes, I believe Daimler AG was smart to sell its stake in Tesla for $780 million because with the economy the way that it is, this provides them much needed capital and reduces their risk overall if the economy continues to crumble. As the economy gets worse, less people will be buying vehicles making the value of Tesla drop.