Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares are still falling today after a big downgrade from Baird and then video of a fiery Model S crash on Wednesday. Nonetheless, Deutsche Bank analysts still believe the automaker’s shares are heading up to $200.
Shares fell as much as 7 percent on Thursday after a rough day on Wednesday. They dipped below $167 per share in early afternoon trading.
Model S crash video not a concern
Analysts Rod Lache, Dan Galves, Mike Levin and Patrick Nolan issued a report with their take on the fiery video which was posted on Wednesday. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) issued a statement after the video and pictures of the crash were released, stating that the vehicle collided with a large metal object in the road. The analysts note that the vehicle did exactly what it is designed to do, keeping the driver safe from harm.
As soon as the vehicle collided with the object, it started running some diagnostic tests. It found a problem and told the driver to pull over and immediately get out of the vehicle. After that, the vehicle started to smoke, and then the fire started. The design of the Model S purposely vented the fire to the front and side of the vehicle so that the driver compartment was not compromised.
Tesla finishing its analysis
At this point Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is still completing its analysis of the accident. The automaker said today that it does believe the fire started in the battery pack when it was damaged in the collision. The company believes the battery pack was indeed the cause of the fire and expects to release additional findings over the next several days as it discovers more information about exactly what happened.
The Deutsche Bank analysts note that this negative news regarding the battery of the Model S will naturally put pressure on the automaker’s stock in the near term. Investors are obviously concerned about what this means for the company’s technology, which is still pretty new. Because of its newness, the analysts say sensitivity to safety risks is especially high. However, they say there are a few things that should help mitigate the negative impact to how investors and consumers view the safety of the vehicle.
Negative view of Tesla will be limited
They point out that at this point there have been 83 million miles driven on Model S sedans around the country and 12 “significant accidents.” Also U.S. safety regulators have put the vehicle through their rigorous tests and given the vehicle the highest possible safety rating. And after all this time that the Model S has been on the road, this is the very first fire reported in one of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s vehicles.
Of course more information is needed about why there was a fire so that the automaker can completely eliminate the risk. However, Tesla believes that the number of times in which an accident begins a fire in one of its vehicles will be similar to the number of times an accident causes a fire in a vehicle with a traditional internal combustion engine.
Other factors limiting the negative impact on Tesla
The analysts also note that since the fire was the result of a collision with something, the impact should be less on Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) as well. They said if the fire had happened in a case with no catalyst, for example, while it was sitting inside a garage, then the damage to Tesla’s reputation would have been far worse.
They also note that this incident wasn’t an explosion. The fire started gradually, and the vehicle did as it was supposed to do in terms of keeping the driver safe and providing a warning. Also the fact that Tesla can monitor the systems of its vehicles remotely means that the company will be able to determine the root cause of the problem and fix it.
The Deutsche Bank analysts remain positive on Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and have kept their $200 per share price target on the stock. They believe this is an isolated incident which could happen to any vehicle on the road and that the automaker will quickly move past it.