Tesla's Stock Is Up 146% This Year

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This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place at 9:00 AM. Or, you could spend all day waiting for other sites to parse it out to you one story at a time. Isn't your time more important?

1st Gear: Tesla's Crazy Stock Ride


Tesla's stock has grown wildly since they announced their first profitable quarter, launching from a low of $25.52 after the New York Times debacle to a high of $97.12. That's insane.

It's not only a moral win for Elon Musk over skeptics, those who bet against him with short positions have been forced to buy $276 million worth of Tesla shares, handing more cash to the company's investors. The rise is a 146% rally.

So what's happening?

The conversation of the past has been "is Tesla a viable company?" That's gone, as Morgan Stanley points out in this Business Insider report. Now it's about how will the company do over the long term?


But is the cost rational? Should the company be valued half as much as Porsche, which will probably make a billion dollars this year?

This post ends with this note: "Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)could literally see $50 or $150 in a week or two — there's no telling what happens with a body in motion like this."


I will not attempt to predict the stock market as there's an entire industry built up around doing that. Morgan Stanley raised its price target to $103 (from $47) but in their guidance they discussed ZEV credit income (money from other automakers who haven't met California's requirements). Those, as Musk has admitted, may disappear this year.

The value of the company is for the market to conclude but the latest spike in volume probably has something to do with all those people holding short positions. A drop in price isn't necessarily a sign the market has soured on the company, just investors calming down a little bit.


It's exciting to watch, either way.

2nd Gear: Do You Want A Fast And The Furious Alfa?


We're cautiously optimistic about the release of Fast And Furious 6. There will be cars, and stunts, and Vin Diesel standing very still, cocking his head every so slightly to one side before saying something cool like "They gotta tank? We've got an army!"


Alfa will be celebrating this with six versions of the lovely Giulietta with… plaques. Each one will correspond to a film in the series and will be signed by the cast. We feel sorry for the person who gets the 2 Fast 2 Furious version.

3rd Gear: 60% Of Americans Think AM/FM Radio Is Dead


Per number's man Karl Henkel, market research firm Harris says that about 60% of Americans think we'll see the death of terrestrial radio in the U.S. in the next five years.

Those people are wrong as industries rarely fall away that quickly, but the switch the either satellite radio or streaming services will certainly continue to rise. Just look at the numbers.

Ed Cohen vice president of measurement innovation at marketing research firm Arbitron Inc., in an interview with The Detroit News last month, said that 90 percent of adults ages 25 to 54 listen to the radio weekly, and it's still the top choice among drivers for in-car entertainment.


4th Gear: Ford Owners Suing Company Over EcoBoost Engines


A trio of Ford owners are suing over their EcoBoost engines, saying the vehicles they own equipped with the 3.5-liter V6 has lost power, shuddered and otherwise been a pain in the ass.

Here's what the AP has:

The lawsuit says more than 100 drivers have complained to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the V6 EcoBoost rattling or losing power. Ford hasn’t recalled any vehicles for the alleged defect, and NHTSA hasn’t opened an investigation, which is often the first step in the recall process.

The lawsuit claims Ford has acknowledged the problem in messages to dealers, but hasn’t informed owners.

Ford declined to comment Tuesday, saying it hasn’t seen the lawsuit. The company wouldn’t say how many vehicles it has sold with the V6 EcoBoost engine.


New technology isn't without its share of problems so it'll be interesting to see how Ford resolves this, although with the number of EcoBoost engines on the road it's possible whatever issues there were have been resolved.

5th Gear: Coda Has To Recall Cars


As if EV carmaker Coda wasn't already in serious trouble after having sold very few cars before going bankrupt, The Wall Street Journal reports that NHTSA determined the vehicle's airbags aren't replying properly, which means it'll try to issue a voluntary recall to cover the issue.

It would be a big expense for most companies but, thankfully I guess, Coda didn't sell that many cars. There are just 93 out there so it should cost about $40K.


Reverse: Be Happy It Isn't 1942

On this day in 1942, gasoline rationing began in 17 Eastern states as an attempt to help the American war effort during World War II. By the end of the year, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had ensured that mandatory gasoline rationing was in effect in all [48] states.



Neutral: What's Going On With Tesla? Short squeeze? Optimism? Smart Investors?

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