Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is thinking about building cars in Russia. According to Bloomberg, CEO Elon Musk told attendees at a conference in Moscow that the automaker is looking into constructing a production hub in the country.
Meanwhile, one firm has slashed its price target for Tesla stock, warning that the automaker could sell more stock very soon.
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Tesla could build in Russia
During an event for students sponsored by the Kremlin, Musk praised Russia's achievements in space and talked about the possibility of building a Tesla factory in the country. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov invited Musk to take questions at the event. The topics he covered ranged from artificial intelligence to his hiring practices and the future of human consciousness.
Bloomberg noted that it wouldn't make sense for Tesla to build a factory in Russia anytime soon. Last year, drivers bought fewer than 700 new and 5,300 used electric vehicles, according to data from Autostat. Russia is a major producer of oil and has only just started building infrastructure to charge electric vehicles.
A Moscow-based analyst told Bloomberg that electric cars make up less than 0.2% of passenger cars in Russia. However, Musk's remarks aren't the first sign Tesla sees potential in the country. On the automaker's website, it lists five Supercharger locations in Russia as "coming soon."
More dialogue between U.S. and Russia
Musk called for Moscow and Russia to enter a dialogue. The conference kicked off the Kremlin's attempts to bring back the Knowledge Society, an educational entity from the Soviet era. Musk said there's "a lot of talent and energy in Russia" and that he hopes "that energy continues into the future."
SpaceX shattered Russia's long-running monopoly on transporting astronauts to the International Space Station in May 2020. Musk's private spaceflight company competes with Russia's Roscosmos for space-tourism business.
Tesla price target cut by 20%
In other Tesla news, Bank of America slashed its price target for Tesla stock by more than 20% and warned that additional stock sales could be right around the corner. Analysts said the automaker's preferred option to raise money and invest in growth could limit shareholders' upside.
Tesla raised billions of dollars last year by selling more stock, although the hype around electric vehicle stocks has cooled. Bank of America analyst John Murphy rated Tesla at Neutral and slashed his price target from $900 to $700, warning of the potential for more stock sales to fund growth, which would dilute shareholders further.
Tesla is part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders' families.