We’ve known for some time that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is firmly in GM’s crosshairs. General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) CEO Dan Akerson said earlier this month that they’re working on a long-range electric vehicle that will sell for around $30,000—something Tesla is also working on right now. But this past weekend he revealed that they’re planning to hit Tesla a little closer to home.
GM is apparently working on a long-range electric vehicle for its Cadillac luxury brand.
Tesla to face off with Cadillac
According to Brandon Turkus of The Detroit News, Akerson said an electric vehicle under GM’s Cadillac brand would be a strong head to head competitor with Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s Model S sedan. He also said they would keep selling the all-electric Chevy Volt and “lose less money on the Volts than they’ll [Tesla] lose on the Model S.”
Akerson went on to compare Tesla with the now-defunct Fisker Automotive. He notes that the company is now nowhere to be found and suggested that Tesla would follow the same road. It’s as if he’s saying that only established automakers like GM have what it takes to succeed in the auto industry. However, there’s a world of difference between Fisker and Tesla. Fisker built only about 2,000 cars before defaulting on its loan from the U.S. Department of Energy and heading for bankruptcy.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), on the other hand, has delivered thousands more vehicles than Fisker and plans to end this year with 20,000 vehicles on the road. The company has also begun rolling out its Model S to other countries in Europe and Asia. There’s no doubt that Tesla has gotten much further than Fisker, even managing to build its own Supercharger network. So even though the company is still a far cry away from being as big as General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), it still is doing what some thought was impossible because of failed companies like Fisker.
Can Tesla fulfill its current valuation?
This is why investors have been so eager to reward Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), sending the company’s shares up higher and higher. Bears constantly argue that the company is overvalued because the fundamentals just don’t make sense.
Earlier this week Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst John Lovallo made the same argument, saying that with Tesla’s current valuation, its Generation III vehicle will have to be one of the best-selling vehicles in the world. He said the automaker’s current valuation suggests that it will sell 628,000 vehicles in 2020, with 500,000 of them being Generation III vehicles. Currently Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is planning to put the $35,000 vehicle on sale in 2017. Lovallo doesn’t think the automaker can do it and suspects that a correction in its stock is coming.
But there’s no denying that Tesla has something here. Its Supercharger network alone has significant value by creating a backbone for the company’s ecosystem. It could go a long way in building brand loyalty as the company looks to spread its wings and fly over the next few years.