Tesla Stock Shudders Amid Cheap Gas Prices
The seemingly meteoric rise of Tesla has been a shining example of building the right product at the perfect time. But, as in any business, companies endure the good times and the bad. Tesla Motors’ recent performance in the stock market falls toward the bad. Tesla shares have dropped around 25 percent since its high of $286 in September 2014, amidst some of the cheapest gasoline prices in years. Drivers are now paying on average $2.60 for gas, down from $3.26 one year ago, according to AAA. Given that the all-electric Model S retails for around $70,000, some are worried that less pinch at the pump will hurt EV enthusiasm. RELATED: Tesla expects to launch the Model X by the third quarter of 2015
According to a recent Automotive News report, analyst Ben Kallo sees the trend as a potentially worrying long-term issue, though likely not a large factor in Tesla’s overall sales.
“Although the recent decline in oil prices has caused concern about EV demand, we believe EV purchasers are focused on the long-term benefit of not being exposed to oil price fluctuations,” notes Kallo. “We believe demand for [Tesla’s] vehicles will remain strong.”
PHOTOS: Take a close look at the all-electric Tesla Model S
In some respects, the recent sales data from InsideEVs reflects that sentiment. US sales of electric and plug-in hybrids dipped to 9,535 in November from 9,662 in October. However the same pattern has occurred between October and November 2013, as well as in 2012.
Crucially, Tesla customers (as compared to EV customers in lower priced segments) are motivated by many factors other than gas prices alone. Tesla buyers heavily weigh the car’s performance, high quality materials, and innovative design – all factors that have helped the Model S earn Consumer Reports’ highest accolade for buyer satisfaction.
Don’t worry, despite a craggy stock downturn, Tesla isn’t going anywhere.
RELATED: Check out what a two-door Tesla Model S would look like
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