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Low-cost model to the rescue?

There are many reasons why a stock may rise or fall. Baron has his own explanation for why Tesla shares tumbled this year.

“When I think about the reason the stock is down, it’s because people were concerned that Tesla CEO Elon Musk was going to abandon the idea of having a low-cost car and go all into robotaxis,” he suggested.

Musk isn’t abandoning that idea. Previously, Tesla expected to start production of new affordable EV models in the second half of 2025. However, during Tesla’s latest earnings conference call, Musk updated the timeline, stating, “we expect it to be more like the early 2025, if not late this year.”

Tesla shares surged following Musk’s remarks, despite the quarter itself being less than stellar.

In Q1, the EV company generated $21.3 billion in revenue, down 9% year over year. Adjusted earnings came in at 45 cents per share for the quarter, compared to 85 cents per share in the year-ago period. Both figures fell short of Wall Street’s expectations.

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All cars to become electric?

Baron envisions a rapid timeline for the U.S. automotive industry's shift from internal combustion engines to battery-powered EVs.

“Electric cars, I think, is going to be all the cars 10-15 years from now,” he said.

And even hybrids won’t endure the transition, according to the billionaire investor. He described hybrids as “too expensive,” “not effective enough” and therefore, they will not be “part of the mix.”

Tesla is leading the charge in this transition. Data from Kelley Blue Book indicates that 55% of the EVs purchased by Americans in 2023 were Tesla products.

"While that figure is down from 65% in 2022, Tesla's aggressive campaign of price cuts helped it retain its top position in 2023. The price cuts brought Tesla's two most affordable cars – the Model Y SUV and Model 3 sedan – into closer reach for more Americans. In fact, one out of every three EVs sold in 2023 was a Tesla Model Y," said the press release.

Baron has already made a fortune for himself and his clients from his Tesla investment. How much higher can the stock go?

Last year, Baron told MarketWatch that he expects Tesla to achieve a market cap of $4 trillion within 10 years. Tesla currently has a market cap of around $527 billion.

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Jing Pan Investment Reporter

Jing is an investment reporter for MoneyWise. He is an avid advocate of investing for passive income. Despite the ups and downs he’s been through with the markets, Jing believes that you can generate a steadily increasing income stream by investing in high quality companies.

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