- Tesla revealed its highly anticipated Model Y crossover SUV on Thursday at the company’s design studio in Hawthorne, California.
- On Friday, analysts said the newly released vehicle – production for which is expected to begin next year – has the potential to claw demand away from the Model 3.
- Watch Tesla trade in real-time.
Wall Street on Friday digested what Tesla‘s Model Y unveiling could mean for the electric automaker, but analysts spilled as much ink over existing models as they did the new crossover SUV.
Cautious analysts were concerned demand for the new vehicle could draw consumer demand away from the Model 3, compounding what’s already viewed by some as a core issue for the model.
‘Y Buy a Model 3?’ wondered Morgan Stanley’s autos analyst, Adam Jonas, in a report out on Friday.
Another Tesla analyst, Craig Irwin at Roth Capital Partners, said in a Friday note that the launch event was likely “pulled forward to distract from weak demand for the Model 3.”
The new crossover SUV’s four different versions will share the names of the Model 3 variants – Performance, Dual Motor AWD, Long Range, and Standard Range. The first three are expected to arrive in fall 2020, while the latter is expected to be available in spring 2021.
As far as the Model Y’s price tag, the standard version will start at $US39,000 before incentives.
Some bullish analysts were optimistic about the Model Y’s potential to broaden Tesla’s total addressable market.
“The Model Y is important because entering the SUV/cross over market effectively doubles Tesla’s addressable market, but we caution it will likely take two years before the $US39k model will be available,” Gene Munster, a longtime Tesla bull, wrote in a note prior to the event on Thursday.
Following the event, Munster said in a post that he was surprised initial shipments would begin in the fall of 2020 – a year later than he’d anticipated, since he’d initially expected “a few hundred” produced by the end of 2019.
Tesla shares fell 4% on Friday following the event.
Here’s a snapshot of what analysts told clients on Friday following the unveiling.
Morgan Stanley: ‘Model Y Unveil: Y Buy a Model 3?’
“Likely to cannibalise the Model 3, in our opinion,” analysts led by Adam Jonas wrote in a note to clients on Friday.
“The Model Y offers substantially greater space, nearly identical performance, and nearly as much range as a Model 3 … and it has 2 extra seats in a 3rd row which is a very big deal, especially for the US market.”
Now that Tesla has revealed the new model, Morgan Stanley expects the stock to “fade” to the firm’s newly lowered price target of $US260, and for a “cautious narrative to resume its course” until some of the market’s concerns like near-term demand, cash flow, and liquidity issues can be resolved.
Morgan Stanley reiterated its “equal-weight” investment rating on the stock.
RBC Capital Markets: ‘Model Y Revealed. Few Surprises; watching for impact to M3’
“The question in our minds is how much does Model Y cannibalise Model 3? We suspect it could be significant as globally CUVs have become more popular than sedans,” analyst Joseph Spak wrote in a note on Friday.
“Which begs the question, why show the vehicle now? We would have thought the reveal would have been closer to start of production. Will some potential M3 buyers wait?”
Still, the Model Y will likely be a more profitable vehicle than the Model 3, Spak said.
The firm reiterated its price target of $US245 and “underperform” rating on the stock.
Wedbush: ‘Takeaways from Tesla Event; Watch Out SUV Space … Here Comes Tesla and Elon’
“While some have argued that the production of Model Y could potentially cannibalise Model 3 deliveries, in our opinion this is a smart and strategic move by Musk & Co. as they aim to further their leadership position in the EV market by now going after the hot SUV Crossover market,” analysts led by Dan Ives wrote in a note to clients on Friday.
The firm had the opportunity to test the car, and Ives said they were “very impressed with the interior and the feel of the Model Y on the road as it did not drive like a crossover SUV and will be a major competitive advantage” when it does hit the road.
Wedbush reiterated its “outperform” investment rating and price target of $US390.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch: ‘TSLA unveils Model Y into the increasingly overcrowded CUV segment’
“Although the Model Y is unlikely to be available to consumers until at least 2020, it will likely represent one of TSLA’s most important models, as it caters to the currently very hot crossover market (in the US and globally),” analysts led by John Murphy wrote in a note to clients on Friday.
“However, it should be noted that all automakers are increasingly chasing the CUV segment and will be launching a slew of new models, which will likely drive an overcrowded market.”
The firm reiterated its “underperform” rating and $US225 price target on the stock due to its view that cash burn in the first half of this year will remain a challenge.
Deutsche Bank: ‘Model Y Launch Event Takeaways’
“Overall, we found the event somewhat underwhelming with no major surprises,” Emmanuel Rosner, an analyst at the firm, said in a note to clients on Friday.
“The Model Y itself essentially is a crossover version of Model 3, with higher seating position and higher roof, but same seats, interior, powertrains, etc; it will be sold starting 2020 at a small price premium to equivalent Model 3s.”
The unveiling is unlikely to detract investor attention away from “ongoing demand/margin concerns for Tesla’s current lineup,” he wrote.
Additionally, Rosner added that with first-quarter earnings and cash flow set to be “really weak,” the stock could remain under pressure in the near-term.
The firm reiterated its “hold” rating and price target of $US345.
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