Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has undoubtedly been one of the biggest gainers of 2013. The electric car maker expects to sell more than 21,500 cars this year, compared to just 2,650 vehicles in 2012. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is set for a strong 2014, helped by two key reasons: almost nil clear competition and massive expansion plans. Of course, the quality of the Model S and Elon Musk’s stature are two other crucial factors, but let’s focus on the previous two for this article.
No automaker challenges Tesla
So far, no automaker has succeeded in bringing an electric vehicle that can rival Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s Model S. Even BMW’s i-series lags far behind Model S in performance and range. Recently, Barclays analyst Brian A White said that the BMW i3 is no threat to Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s Model S. Though i3 and Model S target the same affluent demographic, the 265+ mile range of the Model S gives it a clear advantage. Moreover, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is expanding its Supercharging network rapidly across the U.S. and Europe. In contrast, the i3 has a range of 80-100 miles, and can go up to 186 miles with a gas generator.
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Private equity has been growing in popularity in recent years as more and more big-name funds and institutional investors dive in. Now even indexing giant Vanguard is out to take a piece of the PE pie. During a panel at the Morningstar Investment Conference this year, Fran Kinniry of Vanguard, John Rekenthaler of Morningstar and Read More
Other large automakers such as Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM) (TYO:7203) and Hyundai Motor Co. (KRX:005380) are betting big on hybrids and plug-in hybrids. But neither of them has launched a fully-electric vehicle that can compete with the Model S in performance, range, style and reliability.
Tesla won’t make hybrid cars
Of course, the future won’t belong entirely to electric vehicles, but it won’t move entirely to any other direction such as hybrids or plug-in hybrids. A Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) senior executive recently said that the company has no plans to make hybrid cars in the future because it will be focusing entirely on electric vehicles. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has carved out a niche for itself. While other automakers continue to delay the launch of a breakthrough electric vehicle, the Model S is strengthening its position with each passing day.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) plans to start delivering the Model S to China in Q1 2014. According to Barclays, the company is sure to beat its Q4 delivery estimates, and increase its production to 800 vehicles a week by the end of 2014. Even if Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) produces just 700 cars a week, it can make more than 32,000 vehicles.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares jumped 0.81% to $144.40 at 10:13 AM EST.