Investor's Corner

4 Thoughts on Tesla Motors and Elon Musk

elon musk
Supercharging stations in the UK are finding their groove. (Source: TM)

Supercharging stations in the UK are finding their groove. (Source: TM)

For Tesla, 2015 is all about the Model X, but the year sped off into Detroit for the auto show and we need 4 thoughts on Tesla Motors. Musk talked to the press in Detroit but also to Tesla owners at an end-of-the day reception. Stay classy, Elon.

Below are some initial thoughts on the year, so far. Enjoy!

1.  Keep on Talking. Looks like the dance has begun with Elon and the Texas state legislature (or power players) over Tesla stores via the Hyperloop? I’m inferring that this new Hyperloop test track, below, is part of a bigger discussion involving Tesla, too. Talking and open communication lines are good and this meeting was the day after Musk’s Detroit Auto Show appearance, where he responed to a question about building cars in Michigan. Musk said, “It’s not out of the question. Maybe Michigan shouldn’t stop us from selling cars here.”

2. Wall Street Momentum back?  Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas remarked on Wednesday about how Tesla Motors’s perception as mainstream automaker is getting stronger. Specifically, Jonas says,”The market sentiment surrounding Tesla’s success as a mass market auto company is “healthier” today than it was three or four months ago.” This is in response to Elon Musk’s statement in Detroit about profitability by 2020 for the company. Tesla Motors’s perception as a major player is growing each year and I believe Elon Musk has recognized this power going forward in negotiations with non-selling states. More of a position of power, not aspiration. See more: Tesla Motors 2015 Strategy to Fight Dealers Laws, Stay Aggressive (As an aside, once Mr. Jonas made these remarks, Tesla’s stock moved up strongly on Wednesday.

3. Tesla began selling in Australia last month, even though many global automakers have stopped manufacturing in the country due to low car sales. Tesla has run into some resistance by the local Victoria government (Australia looks a bit like Texas) and, right now, cannot get a permit to allow Tesla product managers to discuss the car’s price and aid in delivery of the vehicle to the country down under. Interesting quote, sounds familiar:
“The Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce (VACC) has a very similar stance. A VACC spokesperson told Business Spectator that Australian car shoppers and automakers in the country have always used franchised auto dealerships and know the model well. He said the VACC would need a very strong reason to allow Tesla to bypass the prevalent model in the state.”

4. Electric Freedom. A new supercharging station just opened in Maidstone, UK, according to HybridCars.com, and this now provides English drivers the ability to travel to the “Continent” via electric transport via the Tesla network. The trek would include a ride via the “Eurotunnel” on one of its vehicle trains, see below, or a ferry to hop across to France? The next closest Supercharger is Gent, Belgium, after emerging from the tunnel near Calais, France. All in all, Maidstone, U.K. to Gent, BE, would be 141 miles, approximately, and then you ready to roam Europe. The rollout in the U.K. has been impressive, which country beside Norway will emerge in Europe in 2015?

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