Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares have surged a whopping 56% this year so far. Many investors have started calling it the next Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). The Elon Musk-led electric vehicle maker went public in June 2010 at $19 a share. Today, the stock is trading well above $238 per share. That’s a growth of 1143% in less than four years. While its performance has attracted a lot of investors, many have been skeptical of pulling the trigger due to its lofty valuations.
Tap into Tesla’s key suppliers
However, there is an indirect way to participate into Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s growth momentum. There is an entire ecosystem of suppliers that stand to benefit from the Palo Alto-based automaker’s growth. Recently, Elon Musk announced a world-class battery manufacturing plant that will require an investment of about $4-$5 billion. The facility will be operational in 2017, and will reach its full production capacity by 2020. The gigafactory will handle everything from processing of raw lithium to the assembly of lithium-ion batteries. It will produce enough batteries to power 500K cars per year.
Though the plant will require an investment of $5 billion, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) will be investing only $2 billion. The remaining amount will come from its battery partners, and the biggest of them is Panasonic Corporation (OTCMKTS:PCRFY) (TYO:6752). The Japanese company has been supplying batteries for Tesla vehicles since 2011. In October 2013, the U.S. company asked Panasonic to supply 2 billion lithium-ion battery cells through 2017. What’s more, Panasonic is planning to invest about $1 billion in the gigafactory. The Osaka, Japan-based company would be a big winner from Tesla’s momentum.
Panasonic Corporation (OTCMKTS:PCRFY) (TYO:6752) is also in talks with Hitachi, Ltd. (OTCMKTS:HTHIY) (TYO:6501) and NEC Corp (TYO:6701) to get involved in the gigafactory. Hitachi already supplies vacuum brake hoses to Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). Chillers are another important component of batteries used in Tesla vehicles. They control temperature and prevent the battery from losing its charge and overheating, says Aaron Levitt of Investopedia. Modine Manufacturing Co. (NYSE:MOD) supplies chillers to the electric vehicle maker. The rise in Tesla’s sales would likely drive earnings of Modine.
Magna and Brembo supply key auto components to Tesla
Magna International Inc. (NYSE:MGA) (TSE:MG) is one of the biggest supplier of auto parts. It provides high-tech features as well as upholstery and cup-holders for some of the most popular cars in the world, and Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s Model S is no exception. The Model S has been praised for its performance, thanks to performance parts provided by Freni Brembo SpA (BIT:BRE). Brembo supplies caliber and disc brake systems for Model S.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares were down 0.67% to $237.25 in pre-market trading Tuesday.