Reuters / Bobby Yip; Business Insider / Dave Smith
- Tesla is mired in the "infernal question" before the presentation of the Model Y on Thursday, said the more negative Tesla analyst on Wall Street.
- The electric car maker is facing a declining demand in the United States and China, vertical analyst Gordon Johnson said, which has a price target of $ 72 ̵
- . Other analysts have also pointed to the question as a fundamental problem for Tesla.
Last fall, in a period of turbulence for the electric car manufacturer, Tesla was dragged from "production hell" to "logistics delivery hell", he said at the time CEO Elon Musk.
And ahead of Tesla's long-awaited Model Y SUV presented Thursday night, the company finds itself in a different kind of hell, in the eyes of the larger Tesla bear on Wall Street.
"Tesla has an application problem," Gordon Johnson, an analyst with the New York-based vertical group, told Markets Insider on Wednesday. "The problem with the application is that the Model 3 is not a mass car, it is a luxury car."
He added: "Elon Musk talked about the hell of production, the delivery hell. I think what they are now is a hell of a question."
In particular, Johnson cited data from Inside EVs, which reflects what Johnson calls a "demand collapse". Tesla sold 17,750 models 3 in the United States in October, 18,650 in November and 25,250 in December – a steady increase until the end of last year. But in January, the automaker sold only 6,500 models 3 in the United States and then 5,750 in February.
"The question is disappointing in grand style", he said. "We think this quarter will lose close to $ 500 to $ 600 million due to weak demand and price cuts. We think the reason you are seeing all this irregular activity is because we think they are literally throwing things at a wall and hoping they will stick. "
The increase in competition from Jaguar, Audi and Nio's electric vehicle offerings, declining demand and a slowing product pipeline beyond the Y model feed Johnson's Tesla thesis. Jaguar's I-Pace and Audi's e-tron arrived in Europe, and Porsche's Taycan should arrive by the end of 2019.
"Tesla is left alone in this market – 100% of electric vehicles over 200 miles away, "he said. "They were alone and the real competition comes in the second half of this year, so I think things will really start to accelerate downwards."
To learn more: Tesla cut prices for the Model 3 – but removed any incentive for its employees to sell the new version
Johnson's $ 72 price target implies a 75% drop from current levels and is the lowest on Wall Street.
Other analysts have also indicated that the question is a sore point for Tesla. On Wednesday, Goldman Sachs analyst David Tamberrino said he expected weak demand and weak margins for Tesla in the first quarter of this year, reiterating its "sell" rating.
Pointing to the InsideEVs data, Tamberinno said that Tesla has already seen a 66% sequential drop in sales for the Model 3 during the first two months of this year. He added that the presentation of the Model Y could exacerbate the problems of the demand for the Model 3.
The Model Y exit on Thursday night comes at a chaotic time for the company, as the former two and a half months of the year have been nothing but quiet.
Tesla saw several high-level departures after a series of departures last year and a new fight between Musk and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Furthermore, the electric car manufacturer said it no longer plans to close all its physical stores, reversing a previous announcement.
In late February, Tesla said it was unlikely that a profit would be transformed in the first quarter. The shares have fallen by 12% this year.
Tesla did not respond to a request for comment
Now read more about Tesla coverage from Markets Insider and Business Insider:  Tesla has just fired 150 Recruiting staff as part of its larger cost reduction  Tesla is faced with an "air bag" in demand earlier than expected, says Morgan Stanley
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