Tesla Motors’ electric crossover sport utility Model X vehicle will make a huge splash in the automobile market next year, with potential to be far more successful at a much better value than the Tesla Model S luxury electric sedan, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said in a research note Wednesday.
The Tesla Model X will make the Model S luxury electric sedan look like chopped liver and silence comments that Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is a “one-hit wonder” with the Model S, he said.
Tesla’s Model S and Model X cars are the only two electric cars in the luxury segment. The Model S debuted in late 2012 and the Model X is due out next spring. A third-generation Tesla car, the Model 3, will reach for a wider buyership at around $35,000 by 2017, according to the company. The Tesla Model S sells for about $71,000 in the U.S.
“We’d be disappointed if the Model X did not sweep every major Car of the Year award on offer by the automotive media,” Jonas said. Tesla Motors has learned many lessons since launching the Model S and has far greater financial and technical resources now that it’s pouring into the Tesla Model X line, he said.
“Additionally, many key suppliers who refused to work with Tesla at the time of the Model S will participate in commercializing the Tesla Model X,” Jonas said. “It is in Tesla’s interest to under-sell expectations of the Model X’s capabilities while it is still in the early stages of the global roll-out of the Model S."
Tesla originally planned to launch the Model X in 2014 but delayed the debut by six to nine months. The company has been ramping up production capacity in recent months.
Jonas thinks Tesla Model X sales can pass sales of Model S in global volume by the end of 2016 if not 2018, given the size of the crossover and sport-utility vehicle market in the U.S. and China.
Tesla stock climbed 4 percent by midday Wednesday after Jonas’ praise.