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Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) To Become A Mass-Market Automaker?

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Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) reported a good third quarter result on Tuesday. But soft Q4 guidance pulled the stock down by more than 14%. Barclays analyst Brian A. Johnson compares the electric carmaker with a “risky but high-reward lottery ticket.” When the stock was approaching $200, there was unprecedented enthusiasm that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) would be the next Porsche or next Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), or a combination of both. But then the automaker gave investors a reality check and highlighted the fact that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is still a start-up.

Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) To Become A Mass-Market Automaker?

Tesla unlikely to launch a mass-market car before 2023


Barclays came up with three possible growth eras for Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) based on the company’s product plans. Era One is the current phase that began in 2012 and will continue through 2016. It will see the launch and subsequent growth of Model S cars and Model X SUVs.

Era Two will kick off in 2017 and will last until 2022. The company will launch Gen III vehicles during this phase that will be more affordable. Though Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) management said that Gen III will be a mass-market vehicle, Barclays believes that it won’t be for the masses. According to Brian Johnson, the company will price Gen III in the range of $40,000-$45,000. So, its price will be similar to Audi A4 or BMW 3 Series.

Era Three will begin in 2023, and that’s when the company would bring truly mass-market cars with market price of around $25,000.

Tesla’s earnings in each era

The analysts assigned margin assumptions, average selling price and a set of volume to each stage. For Era One, Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS) (LON:BARC) assumed 70,000 unit sales at 15% margin and ASP of $85,000. That results into an operating income of $900 million. In Era Two, the company would sell 350K units at an average price of $40,000 and margin rate of 12%. That will generate an additional $1.68 billion in operating income.

During Era Three, Barclays expects Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) to sell 700K units at an average price of $25,000 and operating margin of 7% to mass markets. That should add $1.2 billion to the company’s operating income.

Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS) (LON:BARC) has a Neutral rating on the stock with a $141 price target. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares were down 1.36% to $149.11 in pre-market trading.

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