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Morgan Stanley Analyst Says Many Investors 'Absolutely Adore' Musk's Dominating Strategy

May 14, 2020 6:48 am
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Morgan Stanley Analyst Says Many Investors 'Absolutely Adore' Musk's Dominating Strategy

Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas on Wednesday said Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk's stance against county orders are appreciated by many investors.

Tesla CEO's 'Wanton Disregard' For Traditions Seen As Strength

Musk's style has been a strategy of "play to win" or "play to dominate," Jonas said on the CNBC's "Squawk Alley."

His "wanton disregard for traditional business communication norms" may ruffle "some feathers along the way," but "many investors absolutely adore that and see that as a strength," the analyst added.

Tesla restarted production at its Fremont factory in California late last week, going against county health orders. CEO Musk said he was ready to be arrested for it and had earlier referred to the restrictions as "fascist."

Alameda County officials ultimately caved in, saying they will allow the automaker to resume the production if it agrees to abide by social distancing and other guidelines.

Fremont Factory's Importance Will Decrease

Musk said he would move the manufacturing plant out of California if the company isn't allowed to restart work, a move that the analysts perceived as a very real threat.

According to Jonas, costs involved in manufacturing in California had pushed many automakers in the 20th century, including General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), and Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM), and Tesla could soon follow suit.

"There is no doubt in our mind that over time, that Fremont's proportion of global production will go down and we think the next plant is clearly going to be in Texas," the long-term Tesla backer told CNBC.

Morgan Stanley has an "equal-weight" rating on Tesla, with a price target of $680.

Tesla Price Action

Tesla shares closed 2.3% lower at $790.96 on Wednesday. The shares traded slightly higher in the after-hours session at $799.79.

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