Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model 3 push in Europe appears to be working in the company’s favor. In a note published on Thursday, Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives noted that a “steady demand” for the Model 3 in Europe will likely help Tesla handle any weakness that the company might face in other territories such as China.
The Wedbush analysts noted that Norway continues to be one of the “epicenters of demand” for Tesla in the European region, together with the Netherlands and Germany. Ives also noted that while profitability and broader demand concerns still exist for Tesla, the overall demand in Europe is a “positive development” for the electric car maker.
Ives maintains the equivalent of a “Hold” on Tesla stock, together with a price target of $220 per share.
Wedbush’s analysis of Tesla’s performance in Europe comes on the heels of reports indicating that the electric car maker is poised to raise its vehicle’s prices in China this Friday. According to a Reuters report, the upcoming price adjustments are in part due to the yuan, which has been weakening against the US dollar.
A number of analysts have noted that the impending price increase in China would actually benefit Tesla in the long run. Among these is longtime TSLA bull Ben Kallo from Baird, who noted that a price increase typically indicates a company’s confidence with demand. “We view price increases positively. Companies don’t typically increase price if there are demand worries,” he said.
Cowen analyst Jeff Osborne added that the higher prices in China will likely not stop Chinese customers from purchasing one of the company’s electric vehicles. “There is always a core group of buyers that want goods and services immediately that are less price sensitive. Our view is Tesla feels they can raise the price slightly and not impact elasticity of demand,” Osborne said.
Tesla’s operations in China could see a notable boost in the near future, particularly as the company seems poised to start operations in its Shanghai-based Gigafactory 3 site, which is expected to start producing the Model 3 for the local Chinese market within the next few months. Elon Musk noted during the event’s unveiling that he expects trial Model 3 production runs to begin by the end of the year, though recent reports from Shanghai suggest that trial manufacturing runs could start as early as the end of September.
As of writing, Tesla stock is trading +3.12% at $222.32.
Disclosure: I have no ownership in shares of TSLA and have no plans to initiate any positions within 72 hours.