Many have called Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) a one-hit wonder. But soon their perception is going to change. Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas believes that the forthcoming Model X is all set to feast on the premium SUV market. Jonas said the SUV crossover has the potential to be far more successful than the Model S. Morgan Stanley has an Overweight rating on Tesla with $320 price target.
Model X to win every major Car of the Year award from automotive media
Tesla has already received more than 15,000 pre-orders for the Model X. The company aims to sell at least 50,000 units of its upcoming model in 2015. The San Francisco-based company is in formative stages of its development. So, the success of each model would significantly change the investor and consumer perception of commercial and engineering capabilities of the company.
Jonas said he would be disappointed if Model X didn’t win “every major Car of the Year award” next year. Tesla designed the award-winning Model S even when the company had little financial and technical resources at its disposal. The company is spending two times more on R&D and four times more on capex the year before the Model X launch compared to the year before the Model S launch.
What will be the USP of Model X?
Morgan Stanley expects the Model X starting price to be 5%-10% higher than the Model S. But the crossover will have far greater features and equipment, so the price would seem more favorable to the customer. Unlike Model S, the upcoming vehicle won’t sell on fuel-saving economics. Instead, Morgan Stanley expects its USP to be cool features such as falcon doors, upgraded infotainment system, interior comfort; and driving pleasure such as all-wheel drive, acceleration and handling.
Model X is expected to be launched in early 2015. The alpha and beta prototypes of the vehicle are yet to be tested. Tesla announced last week that the company will test those prototypes would be tested in the next few days. Adam Jonas estimates that the Model X sales could easily surpass Model S by the end of 2016. Global SUV/crossover market is significantly larger (especially in the U.S. and China), so Model X is likely to capitalize on the popularity of SUVs.