Tesla's Genius Move Or Price Cut In Disguise? Analysts Dissect EV Giant's 0.99% Model Y Financing Scheme

Zinger Key Points
  • Munster says, Tesla's 0.99% Model financing option is material and gives him confidence Q2 deliveries will improve from Q1.
  • The tech analyst said he expects a 1%-4% year-over-year decline in June quarter deliveries versus the 1% drop forecast by Street.

Tesla, Inc. TSLA has begun offering a heavily discounted 0.99% financing option for the purchase of its Model Y electric vehicles in North America, and venture capitalist and Deepwater Management Partner Gene Munster offered his take on the development in a post on Monday.

Material Development: Tesla is the “master” at tweaking prices to optimize demand,” said Munster. The fund manager noted that demand has been soft over the past five months. He noted that Tesla buyers can save $8,000 over an average six-year loan with a 1% interest rate relative to a 7% rate.

While noting that a majority of cars are now purchased with some sort of financing, Munster said, “This is material and gives me confidence that June quarter deliveries will improve from March.”

The tech analyst said he expects a 1%-4% year-over-year decline in June quarter deliveries versus the 1% drop forecast by Street and the 9% drop seen in the March quarter.

See Also: Best Electric Vehicle Stocks

Not all share the same enthusiasm. Prominent short seller Jim Chanos sees this move as a camouflaged price cut. Replying to a Tesla fan’s comments that the reduced financing offer is an “absolute game changer,” the short seller said, “Who wants to tell him this is just another price cut…?”

Why It’s Important: After emerging out of the COVID-19 pandemic unscathed, Tesla’s fundamentals began to falter amid deteriorating economic conditions. Rising inflation ate away at consumers’ disposable income and kept them from spending on discretionary items such as cars.

Tesla went all out with the strategy of under-cutting competition to preserve its market share but it backfired as rivals followed suit. The price cuts have steeply eroded margins and profitability.

The Elon Musk-led company has opted to go with the “razor-razorblade” strategy, by sacrificing the margins of the auto business to make up for the shortfall with a high-margin, recurring revenue stream by selling its full self-driving software.

In premarket trading, Tesla shares rose 0.29% to $172.38, according to Benzinga Pro data.

Check out more of Benzinga’s Future Of Mobility coverage by following this link.

Read Next: Tesla CEO Elon Musk Draws Parallel Between Netflix’s Decision To Focus On Streaming Over Renting DVDs To EV Maker Doubling Down On Vehicle Autonomy

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