Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) shareholders are forced to live with a chief executive officer (CEO) who is probably the most disruptive individual in the tech industry. This has big advantages — much of Tesla’s progress over the past decade has been largely because of CEO Elon Musk’s sheer force of will, determination, and a bit of showmanship. That has been a big win for TSLA stock, as well.
That disruptive streak can have a downside, too. There has been plenty of that on display of late, including the recent comment that he feels “super bad” about the economy. Musk is at it again, with an interview published yesterday where he describes Tesla’s new gigafactories in Berlin and Austin as “gigantic money furnaces.” Here’s the full quote via CNBC:
“Both Berlin and Austin factories are gigantic money furnaces right now. OK? It should be like a giant roaring sound which is the sound of money on fire. […] Berlin and Austin are losing billions of dollars right now because there’s a ton of expense and hardly any output.”
If you were considering adding TSLA stock to your portfolio, this statement may have given you pause. With good cause. However, this isn’t just any company, it’s Tesla. If you were considering buying TSLA stock with an eye on long-term growth, the case for doing so remains solid, despite the billions of dollars Musk says are being burned up by those gigafactories. Here’s why.
Classic Example of Short-Term Challenges
Looking beyond the headline quote, the idling at Tesla’s Berlin and Austin gigafactories is a classic, short-term challenge. These factories aren’t white elephants. They may indeed be burning through billions of dollars at the moment, but that is because of a specific issue — and it’s not lack of demand.
The issue boils down to supply chain problems. Tesla is ramping up to produce electric vehicles (EVs) using its new 4680 battery. At the same time, Musk says tools needed to produce cars using the traditional 2170 batteries are trapped in a port in China. As this is going on, production at the Shanghai gigafactory is being suspended for two weeks for upgrades. That’s not a tough decision, given the disruption there because of Covid-19 lockdowns. Tesla is making the most of the situation.
Elon Musk’s wording will probably have a much bigger impact on TSLA stock than the actual impact of the slowdown will, especially in the short-term.
Tesla’s Picture Remains Compelling Long-Term
The reason to buy TSLA stock is the company’s massive head start and leading position in the EV industry.
In the first quarter, Tesla maintained its dominant position. In the U.S., the Model 3 and Model Y were the top two selling EVs in the first quarter. The company held an impressive 68% of the EV market, despite the growing number of EVs being sold by traditional auto makers and startups. That news came after the company was reported to once again be the world’s top-selling EV maker in 2021 by a wide margin. Demand remains so high that some Tesla models are now sold out in the U.S. until 2023.
All this is happening in an EV market that has begun to hit its rapid growth phase and will continue to gain momentum as charging infrastructure expands and gas prices remain high.
Should You Buy TSLA Stock?
Tesla’s gigafactories are “money furnaces” right now. Does that mean you should avoid TSLA stock? If short-term volatility is outside of your comfort zone, you may want to stay on the sidelines for a bit. However, TSLA is a Portfolio Grader “A” rated stock and Tesla is a company with a bright future.
If you want to add a long-term growth stock to your portfolio, now is the time to buy Tesla stock. Especially at its 40% discount compared to the start of the year.
On the date of publication, neither Louis Navellier nor the InvestorPlace Research Staff member primarily responsible for this article held (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.