Tesla’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) Investor Day event on Wednesday evening has Morgan Stanley analysts questioning how competitors will be able to keep up with the electric automaker. The event, which outlined Tesla’s long-term plans for global scalability and expansion, was met with mixed reviews.
However, the big-picture mission of the company, which was the true intention of the event, has made it overwhelmingly clear to Adam Jonas and other Morgan Stanley analysts that when Tesla starts to see real movement on its long-term goals, legacy automakers and EV startups alike may begin to lag behind even more than they already are.
Tesla’s true intention is to trim the cost of electric vehicles, and that will occur through advances in manufacturing and vertical integration. The company wants to trim costs by half, which is drastic, but is ultimately necessary if more consumers are to transition to EVs.
What makes this whole thing challenging for other carmakers is that they are already behind Tesla in a multitude of ways, especially in the U.S. market. Although Tesla’s plans for global scalability are completely relevant, companies that have long been the mainstays of the automotive industry across the world are simply struggling to keep up. Their platforms are not as advanced, their charging networks are not as robust, and their offerings are not as attractive.
“We leave the investor day at Giga Austin asking which of Tesla’s competitors can keep up with the planned spending of upward of $170 bn for the build-out of their manufacturing base for EVs and stationary storage,” Jonas writes. “We expect to see most, if not all, of today’s legacy auto company executive teams study the materials presented today…Over time, we would expect the forthcoming innovations brought to market by Tesla [to] become the industry standard, ultimately used by all automakers.”
As previously mentioned, some saw the event as a letdown because there was no unveiling of Tesla’s $25,000 “Model 2.” Jonas rebutted the disappointment by stating that it should not necessarily have been a surprise. “From our experience, auto companies don’t typically unveil far cheaper and potentially better-engineered products far in advance of SOP.”
It makes sense because consumers would not necessarily be jumping to purchase cars now at higher price points if more affordable and more advanced options were already developed and unveiled last night. It could be a potential inhibitor to Tesla’s current sales volume, which is important considering it has a lofty target of 1.8 million vehicles this year.
All-in-all, Investor Day shed so much light on how the automaker plans to revolutionize sustainable transportation and energy on a massive scale. Cars were not the only focus of the day, as energy programs, including a new charging subscription, were detailed. Tesla also included some cryptic hints about upcoming technologies, like wireless charging for vehicles.
Morgan Stanley has a $220 price target and an Overweight rating on Tesla shares.
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