As hard as Carl Quintanilla and Andrew Ross Sorkin tries to poke a hole in TSLA's story, they can't get through their liberal heads TSLA is exceeding expectations.
The reason TSLA trades at such a premium to GM is that TSLA didn't saddle itself with pension and healthcare liabilities, plus as hard it may be to believe, TSLA builds a car that people actually like mechanically and in appearance. I thought $150 would be reached with a narrow loss or breakeven, but TSLA beat with a 5 cent gain. It would have been $0.17 but they paid a $16 million early prepayment penalty to the Gov't for paying their loan back early. $200-$220 seems very reachable now in 2013.
Tesla cars are niche products. And they're going to face more competition. Meanwhile, that competition isn't coming from GM or the Chevy Volt. It's coming from the other makers of cars in the Tesla price range that are now introducing their own electrics. BMW, for one.
Thus, it's not the pension and healthcare costs at GM that matter. It's whether the company can earn a true cash profit on its sales of cars. How much can it earn selling, 20,000 or 50,000 or 100,000 cars? Enough to warrant a $15 billion market cap?
You have no idea what you're talking about! BMW is competing with the Nissan Leaf. You're lucky if you get 100 miles out of it. Plus, it's not that attractive. I'd rather have the Model X if I was buying an SUV.
Rational arguments. Totally meaningless in the current context, however. It isn't really about the car. But if it were really about the car, the situation would be the same. When Henry Ford was starting out, the horse and buggy guys made good arguments regarding the silliness of good old Henry. That's the story here. If you had a time machine, would you buy Ford stock before the company was profitable? No, you would short the stock and go long buggy whips.