Apr 10, 2018

A pessimistic Tesla forecast

Close up of Tesla logo on a charger at a Supercharger rapid battery charging station. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

A new Goldman Sachs research note suggests that Tesla is not equipped to meet its upcoming targets for production of the mass-market Model 3. The analysis led by Goldman's David Tamberrino also sees erosion of the stock price that regained momentum last week when Tesla reported its latest production and delivery data.

Why it matters: It paints a daunting picture of headwinds the Silicon Valley automaker faces as it tries to scale up production of the car that is key to the company's long-term future.

Tesla hopes to reach production of 5,000 Model 3s per week by mid-year after reporting that it made over 2,000 during the final week of the first quarter. But the Goldman note states: "[W]e believe the sustainable production rate for 2Q18 is most likely below the 2,000 vehicle mark the company achieved in the final week of the quarter."

One level deeper: They say the company can likely produce around 1,400 per week sustainably right now, which they note is better than their previous forecast but also implies bottlenecks at Tesla's Fremont, California factory.

They see other headwinds too, arguing that demand for other Tesla models will be "challenged" going forward as Tesla cars lose their eligibility in the second half of the year for the $7,500 consumer tax credit, which is capped at 200,000 vehicle sales per automaker.

  • The note predicts that Tesla will have to return to capital markets to raise more money this year.

All told: The analysis is cold water on the company that saw its share prices climb again beginning last week. "We maintain our Sell rating, and our 6-month price target becomes $195," they write. Tesla is currently trading at around $304 per share.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 1,579,690 — Total deaths: 94,567 — Total recoveries: 346,780Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 452,582 — Total deaths: 16,129 — Total recoveries: 24,790Map.
  3. Public health latest: U.S. has expelled thousands of migrants under coronavirus public health orderDr. Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the U.S. death toll to 60,000.
  4. Business latest: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion for businesses, state and city governments — Another 6.6 million jobless claims were filed last week.
  5. World latest: Boris Johnson is moved out of ICU but remains in hospital with coronavirus.
  6. In Congress: Senate in stalemate over additional funding for small business relief program.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Biden rolls out new policies in effort to court Sanders supporters

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Biden campaign announced two new policies on Thursday on health care and student debt that are squarely aimed at appealing to supporters of Bernie Sanders, who ended his campaign for the Democratic nomination on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The policies don't go as far as Sanders' platform, but they signal that Biden is serious about incorporating elements of his former rival's agenda in an effort to help unify the Democratic Party and defeat President Trump in the general election.

Reports: Saudi Arabia and Russia reach major deal to cut oil production

Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP via Getty Images

OPEC+, led by mega-producers Saudi Arabia and Russia, reached a tentative agreement Thursday to impose large cuts in oil production as the coronavirus pandemic fuels an unprecedented collapse in demand, per Bloomberg and Reuters.

Why it matters: The revival of the OPEC+ collaboration patches up the early March rupture between the countries, which had pushed already depressed prices down much further by threatening to unleash even more new supplies into the saturated market.