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Boots On The Ground: How Gene Munster's Loup Ventures Gathers Intel On Tesla, Apple And Others

Boots On The Ground: How Gene Munster's Loup Ventures Gathers Intel On Tesla, Apple And Others

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) said it surpassed its 5,000-per-week production goal for Model 3s, but Reuters contended the automaker barely missed the time target and instead reached the figure hours after the June 30 deadline.

Loup Ventures is content either way.

The reported rates and timelines imply a Sunday-through-Saturday rollout of 4,850 Model 3s, according to managing partner Gene Munster's calculations. The figure fell within Munster's estimate range of 4,300 to 4,900 in the final week of the quarter.

Reaching Munster-Like Precision

Munster’s estimates are born of a long-practiced strategy that’s given him a similarly incisive read on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) sales.

The Minneapolis-based firm has posted up outside Apple stores in Chicago, New York and other major cities to gauge first-day hardware sales based on line length, and it’s used a similar strategy for Tesla.

“It’s just how we do things here at Loup — putting ourselves on the scene,” office manager Mira Wallace told Benzinga. “The best way to get proprietary and great insight is to have boots on the ground.”

Loup’s Research Process

In the second-to-last weekend of June, Loup sent Wallace to Fremont for a three-day scouting trip. For a few hours each day, Wallace rounded the plant facilities with a pair of binoculars to get a view of the production tent and truck path. Tesla employees advised Wallace where she could stand without trespassing, she said.

“We basically went through and recorded trucks coming out of the factory,” Wallace said. “We had talked to some Tesla employees who confirmed that they were delivered in enclosed trucks and that you can put six cars in a truck.”

As Tesla is known to be “nocturnal,” Wallace set up overnight video surveillance to analyze peak output hours.

“They send out a lot of their trucks at night and we made a couple assumptions about the volume of trucks coming out with Model 3s on them, [such as] how full the containers would be, to come to our eventual number [of] 4,300 to 4,900,” Wallace said.

Tesla's official numbers struck the upper part of Loup’s range.

Related Links:

Baird Still Buying Tesla After Shareholder Meeting, Calls Energy Opportunity Underappreciated

Bernstein: Tesla's Auto, Services Gross Margins Don't Add Up

Photo courtesy of Tesla.


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