Tesla’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) biggest bear is, without a doubt, Gordon Johnson of GLJ Research. Johnson has been the most outspoken critic of the electric automaker for several years, holding extremely low price targets and never shying away from his very public sell rating. Earlier today, GLJ Research released its Q3 2021 delivery forecast at 223,000 vehicles, which is slightly above consensus estimates.
Johnson set his target for Q3 deliveries at 223,000 cars, which would be slightly more than a 10% increase in deliveries compared to Q2 2021. Tesla delivered 201,250 electric cars in Q2, despite global supply chain and logistics challenges. 99% of the deliveries comprised the Model 3 and Model Y, as the Model S Plaid was just beginning deliveries, and the Model X has been pushed back to 2022 for most orderers.
Compared to other analysts, Johnson’s prediction is relatively in line, with the exception of some bullish $TSLA analysts who have slated Q3 deliveries at a slightly higher than consensus estimate. For example, Piper Sandler and RBC Capital Markets raised their forecasts for Q3 to about 233,000 vehicles, insinuating an over 14% growth in deliveries for the electric automaker compared to Q2. Piper Sandler analyst Alex Potter stated that the firm believes Q3 will be Tesla’s strongest-ever quarter, increasing its 2021 Full Year outlook for the company from 846,000 to 894,000.
Johnson’s past synopsis for Tesla has been that the automaker has no advantage in batteries, their sales are declining, and in EV-heavy regions like Norway, the company has been dominated by automakers like Volkswagen. In fact, Tesla’s battery advantage has been outlined in several ways, especially in its ability to steer clear of parts shortages. Batteries are likely the biggest bottleneck presented to Tesla, as it has inhibited the company from expanding its product line with vehicles like the Semi and the next-gen Roadster. However, the available batteries are being funneled to Tesla’s mass-market Model 3 and Model Y, as well as the Model S, which only accounts for a few thousand Tesla sales every quarter.
While battery constraints have halted Tesla’s launch of the Semi and Roadster programs, they have surged the automaker to have the notorious reputation of having the longest-range EVs on the market currently. While Lucid has overtaken Tesla in range ratings from the EPA, Lucid has not yet launched a vehicle, although deliveries are expected to begin later this year.
In terms of Johnson’s claim that Tesla sales are declining, this is not accurate. Tesla has not seen a decline in delivery statistics since Q1 2019, when the automaker delivered approximately 63,000 cars. In Q4 2018, Tesla delivered 90,300 vehicles. Since then, Tesla has seen consistent increases in delivery statistics.
Finally, Norway has been a hotspot of Tesla’s, unlike Johnson’s claims of domination by other companies. In August, Tesla overtook Volkswagen and Ford in the region. Norway has among the highest concentration of EV drivers globally, and the final ICE sale is expected to take place in mid-2022, according to recent projections.
Johnson is ranked 7,420 out of 7,671 analysts on TipRanks. He has a $67 price target on TSLA with a “Sell” rating, an average return of -7.1%, and a success rate of 54%.
At the time of writing, TSLA was down 1.55% at $779.05.
Disclosure: Joey Klender is a TSLA Shareholder.