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Tesla’s importance lies in global auto market, not just EVs following record year: Jefferies

A full lot of Tesla vehicles at Gigafactory Shanghai. (Credit: Jason Yang)

Tesla’s importance as an automotive company is undoubtedly one of the most crucial in the storied history of car manufacturing. While Tesla’s influence undoubtedly shifted many legacy car companies to consider electrification as a potential outlet for growth and evolution, Jefferies analyst Phillippe Houchois says that now the electric automaker deserves to be in the conversation of “cars,” and not just electric ones.

Tesla shares (NASDAQ: TSLA) traded at $1,037.49 at the time of writing.

“Too many Tesla discussions still revolve around EVs when the topic should be how much global share Tesla will gain this year and through 2023,” Houchois wrote in a note to investors on Tuesday. “Barring a quick and full recovery to 2019 levels, EV growth is set to throw traditional OEMs’ cost base off-balance as EVs most replace lost ICE sales.”

Ford is a great example of the tail-end of Houchois’ statement. The Mustang Mach-E outsold the gas-powered Mustang for the first time in June 2021, according to MotorTrendEVs are undoubtedly becoming a piece of the automotive market globally, slowly but surely. While the market share is still relatively low for EVs, ICE vehicles are becoming less attractive due to gas savings as prices at the pump are reaching incredibly high levels. The national average on Tuesday was $3.31 a gallon, according to AAA. One year ago, prices averaged at $2.38 per gallon.

Tesla does not have a previous combustion engine powertrain to compare its EV sales to. However, the company’s vehicles are beginning to become popular in many regions, not just the United States. The Model 3 has captured various sales titles for vehicles, not just EVs. In Norway, it was the best-selling car in 2021, and in June, it was Britain’s best-selling car, outselling every gas-powered engine available in the market.

Just naming a few examples does not seem to do Tesla justice. The company has converted a countless number of people to electric powertrains, and Tesla continues to expand its sales every year with the introduction of new models, new technology, and increased consumer perception regarding the advantages of driving an electric vehicle. The numbers do not lie, either: Tesla increased its deliveries in 2021 by 47% compared to 2020.

Tesla’s Q4 2021 and Full Year 2021 Earnings Call will take place next Wednesday. Musk decided last year to join the calls only when there is significant news to report, and it appears that he will be on the Earnings Call next week, where he could give an update of Tesla’s product map. This could shed further light on the Cybertruck project, which has been delayed to 2023, according to reports, and the potential start of production at Gigafactory Texas.

Tesla to provide product roadmap update in Q4 2021 earnings call

“CEO Musk promised an updated product plan, which should clarify widely rumored delays to Cybertruck,” Houchois wrote. “While optically poor, delaying Cyber and/or Semi would not materially affect our forecasts for volume (15k and 5k respectively in 2022E) or profitability given limited commonality with current model range.”

Houchois holds a $1,400 price target and a “Buy” rating on TSLA stock. He is ranked 183 out of 7,778 analysts on TipRanks and has a success rate of 65% with an average return of 32.8%.

Disclosure: Joey Klender is a TSLA Shareholder.

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Tesla’s importance lies in global auto market, not just EVs following record year: Jefferies
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