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Tesla won't go out of business, says one veteran auto exec

Brian Sozzi

Don’t be so quick to think that Tesla (TSLA) won’t emerge from its latest crisis of confidence, says one veteran auto industry executive. And if it does, it will likely be because of its talented employees.

“I have been in this business for 30 years — 13 as a CEO — you will have original equipment manufacturers that come and go, that are strong and weak. We don’t overly worry about it one way or another. I think they [Tesla] are going to find their way like they always do. There are a lot of really talented people out there at Tesla as well as at other companies,” Dana Incorporated CEO Jim Kamsickas said on Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade.

Kamsickas — who has led 115-year old axle maker Dana since 2015 and pivoted more towards providing electric vehicle components — has a vested interest in Tesla becoming a viable automaker. Tesla is a small customer of Dana, which provides the electric car maker with various components.

Tesla is not listed in Dana’s most recent annual report as being a top customer of the company. But if Kamsickas wants to maximize the returns on Dana’s recent investments in electric auto axles and other areas in that emerging market, having Tesla in business doing battle with Ford (F) and GM (GM) in electrification would be very helpful.

Ultimately, Kamsickas’ comments on Tesla has some weight.

Besides having a glimpse into Tesla’s business from a supplier standpoint, Kamsickas sits on Dana’s board of directors with relatively new member Diarmuid O’Connell. O’Connell spent 11 years at Tesla, most recently as vice president of business development, and joined Dana’s board of directors in mid-2018.

FILE--In this Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, file photograph, buyers look over a Model 3 in a Tesla store in Cherry Creek Mall in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

Unfortunately for Tesla, Mr. Market is unclear on the outlook for the Elon Musk-led company.

Tesla’s stock has tanked 44% this year. Most of the eye-popping losses — 23% — have come in the past month alone as Wall Street has ganged up and attacked the automaker’s business prospects.

Analysts have been on the attack. Tesla is fresh off a $2.7 billion capital raise and a very disappointing first quarter. Meanwhile, the company has slashed prices on its higher end Model S and X lines and put a new cost-cutting plan in place.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-host of ‘The First Trade’ at Yahoo Finance. Follow Brian Sozzi him on Twitter @BrianSozzi

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