One of the growing trends for this decade is the transition from gasoline-based automobiles to viable electric alternatives. Out of all the automakers, Tesla Motors (TSLA) is in the best position to profit from the rapidly growing electric car market. The turning point for Tesla Motors will be the 2012 release of the Tesla Model S, which will be the first model that has competitive pricing compared to rival gas powered luxury cars. I am strongly bullish on Tesla due to the ability of the Model S to drive the company to profitability, quality management, and its position as the quality leader in the electric car market.
Although Tesla's financials appear ghastly to any value investor, growth opportunities overcome the company's balance sheet risk. The main driver for Tesla's growth lies in the release of the Model S. Just the purchases from 6,500 reservations alone will boost revenues by $376.4 million (187%). Customers buying the Model S after the release will drive additional growth as well. Cannibalization is not an issue, as the rest of the company's fleet is not affordable to the vast majority of Model S customers.
Other factors driving Telsa's growth include quality leadership and leading innovation in the electric car sector. Tesla's CEO Elon Musk is one of America's leading entrepreneurs with an excellent track record of leading Paypal and SpaceX to success, and has won the Auto Executive of the Year in 2010. Tesla pulls ahead of competitors such as the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf through its battery life without gas. The battery life of the Model S is 230-300 miles and can recharge in 3-5 hours. On the other hand, the Nissan Leaf battry life is only 47-138 miles and the Chevy Volt only can go 50 miles without gas.
Due to the growth driven by the Model S withTelsa's entry into the mainstream automobile marketplace, I am strongly bullish on Tesla Motors. My 2012 price target is $36, with significant potential to overshoot this resistance.
Disclosure: I am long TSLA.