The Tesla Top

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Perhaps to demonstrate that 5 straight years of a rising market with hardly a break has finally made me lose my mind, I just did something I’ve never done before. No, I did not don a chicken suit and climb to my roof to scream at neighbors. I’ve done that plenty of times. What I’m referring to is the fact I just shorted a boutique car company that perhaps you’ve heard me mention:

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I think what set me off was this weekend was when I read a headline that said something like “Such-and-so analyst swears he will never short Tesla, since he just test-drove one.” Good God, people.

Slope, once again, kicks the mainstream media’s butt. I wrote in the most glowing terms about the car over and over again, starting when it was a $35 stock. Now that the stock is up over 400%, some joker of an analyst decides to drive the car and boldly declare the stock should never be shorted.

Well, since I am apparently about ten months ahead of this guy, allow me to scoop him once again: I’ve taken a good, long hard look in person at the Model X, their forthcoming product which is slated to hit the streets in 2015. I will make these salient points:

  1. It’s just a different body plopped onto the Model S frame and engine;
  2. It’s bulky, but not large enough to be a serious SUV. I wouldn’t want to go on a ski trip in this thing, which I think is an important target market;
  3. The big, big, big deal about it can be expressed in two words: gull wings. It’s all about the doors. And, yeah, they’re pretty cool. But…….they’re doors.

Let me express this more plainly. The difference between the Model S and all other cars is like the difference between the iPhone in 2007 and all the crappy cell phones on the market when it was first introduced. It’s a chasm; a whole different world; a gigantic breakthrough.

The difference between the Model S and the Model X is like the difference between the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4. It’s an improvement. It’s newer. It’s different. But it’s not a revolution.

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My position is a small one – a mere 60 shares – and is based more on principal than giant profit opportunity. But this stock is priced for perfection, and having seen the Model X first-hand, I’m more flaccid about the company than I thought I would be.

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