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Tesla EVs Still In The Lead After Audi Launch, UBS Says

Tesla EVs Still In The Lead After Audi Launch, UBS Says
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Another Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) challenger hit the road Monday in the form of Audi’s e-tron SUV. But the competition, often seen as a threat to the beleaguered automaker, only served to demonstrate Tesla’s strength, according to UBS. 

The Rating

A sizeable team of UBS analysts maintained a Sell rating on Tesla with a $190 price target.

The Thesis

Audi’s first battery electric vehicle, which launched at $74,800, is comparable to Tesla in price — but little else.

“The e-tron underscores that catching up with Tesla is more difficult than expected by many,” UBS said in a note. “It delivers [about] 30-50 miles less range than the (more expensive and larger) Model X, in spite of having almost the same battery capacity (vs. the 100D), and accelerates significantly slower.”

At the same time, Tesla leads in powertrain efficiency ratios, which may, as UBS anticipates, help keep Tesla at the top in EV sales.

“With a [worldwide harmonized light vehicles test procedure] estimated range of 400 to 450 kilometers and an acceleration that doesn't even beat [interal combustion-powered] SUVs in this price range, it [Audi] fails to set new benchmarks in the premium EV segment,” the analysts said. 

Despite Tesla’s continued invulnerability from luxury EV competitors, UBS remains a seller of the stock. It forecast difficulty in meeting 2019 consensus estimates due to sub-par demand for the higher-priced Model 3.

Price Action

Tesla shares were trading up more than 1 percent to $298.01 at the time of publication Tuesday.

Related Links:

Why Gene Munster Remains A Tesla Bull

Gene Munster: 3 Ways Elon Musk Is Hurting Tesla

Photo courtesy of Audi. 

Latest Ratings for TSLA

Dec 2018WedbushInitiates Coverage OnOutperform
Dec 2018BairdReiteratesOutperform
Dec 2018JefferiesUpgradesHoldBuy

View More Analyst Ratings for TSLA
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