Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has created a disruptive technology that’s changing the face of the auto industry. In fact, some analysts are so bullish that they’re making some big-time statements about the automaker. In a report dated today, Morgan Stanley analysts Adam Jonas, Ravi Shanker and Paresh Jain—who are among the most bullish of all when it comes to Tesla—say the automaker is “the most important car company in the world.” And they’re “not joking,” according to their latest report.
They reiterated their Overweight rating and $320 per share price target.
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Tesla becomes “emblematic force”
The Morgan Stanley team believes Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is becoming a symbol of American technology and efforts to foster growth in high tech manufacturing jobs. They cited a number of observations that led them to this conclusion.
First, they say auto suppliers want to do business with the company. They hosted a two-hour dinner with a “Tier-0 mega supplier” recently. Their conversation with the unnamed supplier’s chief technical officer was about Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). They discussed what Tesla does differently in “electrification, connected car and autonomous vehicles.” They also said there are many other suppliers who at one time shunned the automaker but are now thinking about building dedicated facilities and lines purely to supply parts for Tesla’s vehicles.
Tesla gets respect
Second, the Morgan Stanley analysts note that already-established automakers respect Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). They remind us that last year, General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) decided to focus on advancing its electric car technology. GM wanted to make electric cars with a longer range, and management called the team focused on this “Team Tesla.”
An engineer from Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (ETR:BMW) (FRA:BMW) also told Jonas and his team about how Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s presence in the auto market has helped revive innovation in the space. The engineer said innovation in the auto industry had become stale. As a result, Morgan Stanley analysts said they think BMW “will be a stronger company longer term because Tesla is around.” “Whoa,” they added.
States want to draw Tesla in
And then there’s the matter of the gigafactory. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has spoken with five states that are all competing to get the facility. The automaker said it will spend $5 billion on the massive battery factory and create 6,000 new jobs. The Morgan Stanley team said any governor in the U.S. “would need a very good reason to say no to a Tesla factory.”
Their estimates suggest that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) will directly employ up to 20,000 workers in the U.S. within the next seven years. They used their sales forecasts and also a “vertically integrated Battery factory and charging infrastructure.” Today the automaker employs 6,000 U.S. workers. Indirectly, they estimate that Tesla could support between 100,000 and 150,000 U.S. jobs. “GDP moving stuff,” they noted.
The analysts also said Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s Gen III car will be even more exciting for the U.S. economy because they think it will be nearly 90% American-made. That would make it more American than Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)’s F-150 or General Motors Company (NYSE:GM)’s Chevy Silverado.
“Just wait until the American Automobile Labeling Act gets a hold of Tesla’s Gen 3,” they wrote.