Tesla Names Affordably-Priced Car Model 3, Plans '16 Launch


Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA) recently christened its much-hyped affordably-priced third generation vehicle Model 3. The automaker plans to showcase the car in 2016 and will initiate its commercial launch in 2017.

Priced at $35,000, Model 3 will be Tesla’s third generation car after the original Roadster and Model S. Designed to be about 20% smaller than Model S, Model 3 will have a range of approximately 200 miles per charge. Also, the vehicle will be equipped with the batteries manufactured in Tesla’s planned Gigafactory. These batteries will be compatible with Tesla’s Supercharger stations across the globe.

This electric car will be modeled on a new platform instead of being a modified version of Model S and Model X. Notably, the Vice President of vehicle engineering at Tesla, Chris Porritt, also a former chief engineer of Aston Martin – the British manufacturer of luxury sports cars – will be designing Model 3. Leveraging on a unique design and the environment-friendly angle, the vehicle is likely to provide stiff competition to the BMW 3 Series.

Previously, Tesla had planned to name the new vehicle Model E. However, Ford Motor Co. (F) owns the trademark to that name. Thus, if Tesla named its third-generation offering Model E, Ford might have leveled legal charges against Tesla.

Tesla enjoys a competitive edge over its peers owing to its stylish and high-performing products. The automaker has garnered a loyal customer base through the launch of Roadster and Model S, both of which offer impressive range and speed. Tesla is also aggressively working toward expanding its product portfolio to boost sales. The company’s Model X will hit the market early next year.

Recently, the Chinese government enforced a law which specifies that 30% of the government vehicle purchases should comprise electric vehicles. This should bolster Tesla’s sales in the nation, which is the world’s largest automobile market. However, Tesla will face competition from domestic Chinese electric car manufacturers like Kandi Technolgies Group, Inc. (KNDI) for sales.

Tesla currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). China Automotive Systems Inc. (CAAS) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) is a better-ranked automobile stock worth considering

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