Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) had an amazing run over the past 10 years, gaining an astonishing 873%. Tesla stock is down 20% for the year, as the fallout of its SolarCity acquisition weighed on sentiment, issues with production hurt sales and Tesla suddenly finds its backyard chockablock with competition. The introduction of the Jaguar I-Pace at the Los Angeles Auto Show could be the latest blow to TSLA.
Jaguar, a brand owned by Indian automaker Tata Motors Limited (ADR) (NYSE:TTM), has been on a tear lately. The brand has seen a complete turnaround and is having one of its best years ever in 2016.
Jaguar debuted its concept Jaguar I-Pace at the recent auto show to stunning reviews and sent whispers around the industry of the competition it could bring against industry leader Tesla.
The Jaguar I-Pace, due out in 2018, is a 400 horsepower all-wheel drive electric crossover vehicle. The vehicle will seat five people and has properties of both a sedan and a SUV. Jaguar’s new vehicle has a current range in excess of 220 miles, which would put it just below the Model X, but ahead of the Chevy Volt by General Motors Company (NYSE:GM). This is the first all-electric concept car from Jaguar.
The Jaguar I-Pace shown off at the LA Auto Show was technically a concept car. However, this car is already taking pre-orders and is expected to be fully introduced next year. The car will hit dealer showrooms in 2018 and be available for purchase that year as well.
One of the biggest advantages Jaguar could have here over Tesla is its network of dealers. Tata Motors had over 330 franchises in North America for its Jaguar and Land Rover brands. Around 70% of those dealerships carried both brands. Tesla, for its part, has 250 dealerships globally. And the company has been barred from selling its cars in several states under a dealership model. Tesla is getting creative, however, and putting dealerships inside high traffic malls and even one inside a Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWN) store.
Jaguar has been a strong luxury brand for some time and recently a growing affordable luxury brand with several new launches. No price on the Jaguar I-Pace has been announced, so that is one area that is unknown in the battle versus Tesla.
Still, competition from Jaguar comes at a bad time for Tesla stock, as the company’s production was thwarted due to the need to equip its Fremont, CA location with everything needed to deliver “full self-driving hardware.”
While Tesla doesn’t break out monthly sales figures for its cars, some electric vehicle sites give their best estimates. Tesla didn’t top the chart in October or November and now has a narrower lead over GM’s Chevrolet Volt for the first 11 months of the year.