Tesla’s Q3 2018 vehicle production and delivery report revealed that the electric car maker set new records once more. Over the course of the third quarter, Tesla manufactured a total of 80,142 vehicles and delivered a total of 83,500 cars. Model 3 production and deliveries were at 53,239 and 55,840, meeting Tesla’s ambitious self-imposed targets. These results appear to have impressed Wall Street, with billionaire investor Ron Baron recently sharing his optimistic forecast on the company.
In a segment on CNBC‘s Squawk Box, Ron Baron of Baron Capital noted that he believes Tesla is headed towards even more growth. Baron’s firm, which has $28.3 billion in assets under management, holds 1.65 million TSLA shares. The Wall Street veteran noted that he believes Tesla’s electric car and battery storage business will be worth $500 billion each by 2030, giving the company an estimated total market cap of $1 trillion in the next 11 years.
“I think it could be a $500 billion battery business, $500 billion car business. I give that better than 50-50 chance. I think this is going to be the biggest car company. I think they’re going to have 10 million cars, 15 million cars sold per year eventually,” he said.
The billionaire investor further noted that Tesla is closing in on being self-funding, particularly since the costs of batteries are expected to drop over the next few years. Baron’s insights into Tesla’s sustainability were ultimately shared by Wall Street analyst Romit Shah from Nomura Instinet. While speaking at a segment in Bloomberg Daybreak: Americas, Shah noted that with Q3’s results, Tesla looks set to be sustainably profitable.
“I think they’re definitely sustainable. In fact, I would expect that deliveries continue to increase in the fourth quarter and in the next year. Keep in mind; they haven’t even started leasing the Model 3, which is how most consumers prefer to finance their car. They haven’t started shipping the Model 3 overseas in Europe and China. So, I still think there’s a lot of runways for them to grow,” Nomura stated.
The Nomura Instinet analyst further stated that he believes Tesla’s production and delivery figures in the third quarter might be the point where the company could break-even on a cash basis going forward.
“I think they’re there now. Whether they’re at a slight profit or at a slight loss this quarter, I think you’re looking at it here. 80,000+ deliveries a quarter should get them to break even, and in the fourth quarter, if they’re able to increase deliveries, which we think, closer to say, 100,000, then I think this company is gonna be profitable and probably sustainably so,” Shah said.
It remains to be seen if Tesla did achieve its goal of becoming profitable this Q3, though Elon Musk did state in an email to employees over the weekend that the company is “very close” to profitability. That said, the Nomura analyst’s point about Tesla having opportunities to grow the Model 3’s market stands in line with the company’s statement in its Q3 delivery and production report, which also mentioned leasing and foreign markets.
“Our Q3 Model 3 deliveries were limited to higher-priced variants, cash/loan transactions, and North American customers only. There remain significant opportunities to grow the addressable market for Model 3 by introducing leasing, standard battery and other lower-priced variants of the car, and by starting international deliveries,” Tesla wrote.