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Tesla desirability drops in Morgan Stanley’s 4th Annual Intern Survey

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Morgan Stanley’s 4th Annual Intern Survey has revealed that Tesla’s desirability may be dropping, at least among the investment management and financial services company’s interns. In a note, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas stated that the firm’s survey provides a “window into the preferences of a future generation of business leaders and commercial influencers.”

The 4th Annual Intern Survey involved ~500 Morgan Stanley summer interns, and according to Jonas, their tastes in autos appear to be over a decade ahead of the market. The respondents’ preference to purchase an electric vehicle was flat year-over-year at 30%, which was about equal to Morgan Stanley’s 2030 US EV penetration forecast.

When it comes to Tesla, however, Jonas noted that the company’s desirability dipped this year, falling to 19% and putting the company barely ahead of Mercedes-Benz, which was at 17%. The Morgan Stanley analyst noted that this might be due to a variety of factors, such as the growing list of alternatives to Teslas and the fact that the company’s vehicles are becoming so common on US roads.

“When it comes to Tesla, intern interest seems to be stagnating at the margin – does this represent an unmet desire for EVs from alternative brands, a degree of Tesla fatigue due to the brand’s overwhelming share of EV sales and growing proportion of total auto sales, or another indicator of future consumer sentiment? We note that YTD, Tesla has sold over 50% more vehicles in the US than total BMW US sales,” the analyst wrote.

That said, Jonas did observe that Tesla is growing its market share in the general auto market. This is especially true in California, where Tesla’s market share year-to-date is approaching 11% of all vehicles, including hybrids and internal combustion-powered cars. Overall, while Tesla did see a drop in its desirability among Morgan Stanley’s interns, the electric vehicle maker is still the most desirable car brand among its peers.

“Though Tesla is still the most desirable car brand among interns vs. peers, Tesla’s desirability as a share of total intern preference declined to 19% vs. 30% or over in each of the past 3 years. That is, 2022 marks the first year that intern preference for Tesla fell below 30% in 3 years. A higher proportion of interns this year don’t have a desired auto brand (17% vs. 11% last year) or cited Other (12% vs. 7%). Mercedes (17%), Audi (12%) and BMW (11%) followed Tesla. Tesla also ticked down (39% last year to 35% this year as most trusted for autonomous service,” Jonas noted.

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Tesla desirability drops in Morgan Stanley’s 4th Annual Intern Survey
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