Roth MKM senior research analyst and Tesla Inc TSLA bear, Craig Irwin, is of the opinion that the stock is “egregiously overvalued,” asserting that the EV giant offers nothing that Japanese automaker Toyota does not. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, however, believes that the analyst is mistaken.
What Happened: Irwin joined CNBC on Wednesday to discuss his forecasts for Tesla and EVs in general. Drawing a parallel between Tesla and the world’s top-selling automaker Toyota Motor Corp TM, Irwin stated, “I’m bearish because I see it as egregiously overvalued. When we look at Toyota as a benchmark, there’s nothing Tesla has that Toyota does not.”
Regarding recent reports of Tesla launching a revamped version of the Model Y from its Shanghai plant, Irwin noted that it is “overdue,” given that people have been requesting upgrades to the lineup for a while now. “They are late. Competition in China is overtaking them. It’s going to be a tough 2024,” Irwin said.
Irwin anticipates increasing competition from players, including Chinese EV maker BYD Co Ltd, coupled with economic weakness spurring more electric vehicle price cuts next year. Irwin has set a price target of $85 for Tesla.
Musk Responds: Musk, however, believes that Irwin used the “wrong frame of reference” in comparing Tesla with another automaker. “Tesla is an AI/robotics company,” Musk wrote.
This viewpoint aligns with several Tesla bulls, including Wedbush’s Dan Ives and Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas. While Tesla primarily focuses on EVs, the company has expanded its business beyond manufacturing electric cars, encompassing energy storage solutions, solar products, Supercharger stations, software and connectivity, and robotics.
However, Wall Street estimates suggest that China’s BYD will overtake Tesla as the leading seller of pure electric vehicles in the fourth quarter. In the last quarter, BYD shipped approximately 432,000 BEVs, just shy of Tesla’s 435,000 units.
Price Action: Tesla stock closed up 1.89% at $261.47 on Wednesday and was up 0.83% during premarket trading. Shares have gained nearly 142% this year, according to data from Benzinga Pro.
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