Thursday, June 21, 2018
Business

Analyst: Tesla might be world's most important automaker

Could Tesla Motors be the world's most important car company?

Morgan Stanley Research analyst Adam Jonas makes that argument in a new report to investors.

"Not even two years after the delivery of the first Model S, Tesla Motors has transformed from fledgling startup to arguably the most important car company in the world. We are not joking," Jonas wrote. "Tesla is also emerging as an emblematic force in America's effort to foster high-tech manufacturing job growth."

Here's why:

• Tesla has gone from zero to hero with automotive suppliers, which once shunned the Palo Alto, Calif., car company.

Jonas recently dined with a senior executive at one major supplier who talked about what Tesla does differently in terms of electrification, connected cars and autonomous vehicles. Now suppliers are considering developing dedicated lines and facilities just for Tesla's business.

Rival automakers derided now-failed startups such as Fisker and Coda, but they see Tesla as a true competitor.

General Motors has a "Team Tesla" devoted to the development of long-range electric vehicles like Tesla's Model S sedan, Jonas said.

"A BMW engineer recently explained to us how Tesla's presence has helped reinvigorate the spirit of automobile innovation that was beginning to run stale, further testifying that BMW will be a stronger company longer term because Tesla is around," he said.

• Tesla is having a positive effect on the U.S. economy.

Five states are developing incentive packages to land Tesla's proposed giant $5 billion "gigafactory" battery facility, a project that could create 6,000 manufacturing and technical jobs, Jonas said.

A "governor would need a very good reason to say no to a Tesla factory," Jonas said.

Including the battery factory and expanded auto production at its factory in Fremont, Calif., Jonas sees Tesla's U.S. employment rising from about 6,000 workers today to as many as 20,000 within seven years.

That would indirectly support more than an additional 100,000 U.S. jobs.

It's "GDP-moving stuff," Jonas said.

• Tesla is uniquely American.

Tesla also is establishing itself as the "most American-made car on the road, pushing 90 percent U.S. content," Jonas said. That's more than such American standards as the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks, he said.

This all means that investors should look at Tesla as more than a traditional auto company.

• There are risks.

Tesla is guaranteeing the value of its Model S in a lease-finance transaction. If the price of used Teslas fall short of the company's estimates, it could lose a lot of money.

Tesla remains dependent on key government programs such as environmental credits and federal and state incentives for people who purchase electric cars.

Those could go away. Lawmakers might decide not to give wealthy consumers as much as $10,000 in federal and state benefits to purchase a car that starts around $71,000 and easily crosses the $100,000 range, depending on options and features.

Comments
Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Hours after Tesla had sued its former employee on charges he had stolen company secrets, and days after chief Elon Musk had called him a saboteur, the Silicon Valley automaker made a startling claim. The company had received a call from a friend of t...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

TAMPA — Two of the city’s hottest developers — the companies behind Ulele and the Armature Works — are heading to court over control of an old city building that sits between the hit eateries. Both want to redevelop the city&...
Updated: 3 hours ago
WTR Pool and Grille brings ‘fun dining’ pool party scene to Tampa

WTR Pool and Grille brings ‘fun dining’ pool party scene to Tampa

Mike Piper has traveled to Las Vegas and Miami and enjoyed the fun, daytime, party pool scene that the two cities have to offer.Now he aims to bring that same atmosphere to Tampa with a new dining and hang out spot. WTR Pool & Grill opened on Sunday ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Grace Family Church gives thrift stores an upgrade in South Tampa

Grace Family Church gives thrift stores an upgrade in South Tampa

A new resale store has made its way to South Tampa. Grace Family Church recently opened Vintage Etc., to provide affordable, quality merchandise to the community and continue its outreach to help families in need in a loving Christian environment. "W...
Updated: 5 hours ago
2.4 million Floridians expected to travel for Fourth of July

2.4 million Floridians expected to travel for Fourth of July

Summer has officially started and so have summer travel plans. About 2.4 million Floridians are expected to travel for the Fourth of July holiday weekend, up 6.3 percent from last year, according to AAA, The Auto Club Group."We are already seeing a b...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Taylor Morrison builds in Wesley Chapel

Taylor Morrison builds in Wesley Chapel

Taylor Morrison will build a new subdivision off of Boyette Road between Wesley Chapel Boulevard and Overpass Road.The builder and developer recently broke ground on Chapel Chase, set on approximately 40 acres just north of New Tampa in Pasco County....
Updated: 6 hours ago
Grain and Berry Cafe to bring its healthy menu to USF area

Grain and Berry Cafe to bring its healthy menu to USF area

Grain & Berry Cafe opened in Palm Harbor, and now the healthy eatery is rapidly expanding throughout the Tampa Bay area.The healthy eatery opened a new location on E Fowler Ave near the University of South Florida in May, just 10 months after opening...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

TAMPA — When the 2008 financial crash brought down the nation’s housing market, hundreds of home builders went out of business. Among them was Sharon McSwain Homes in Atlanta, forced to liquidate in 2009.But just as developers like to develop, builde...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Supreme Court: Online shoppers can be forced to pay sales tax

Supreme Court: Online shoppers can be forced to pay sales tax

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court says states can force online shoppers to pay sales tax.The 5-4 ruling Thursday is a win for states, who said they were losing out on billions of dollars annually under two decades-old Supreme Court decisions that impact...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Former employee sued by Tesla says he was a whistleblower

Former employee sued by Tesla says he was a whistleblower

Tesla sued a former employee Wednesday, accusing the man of hacking the automaker’s computer systems and stealing company secrets, shedding light on what chief Elon Musk had suggested was the work of a secretive internal saboteur.But the employee, Ma...
Updated: 8 hours ago