This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Here's the Only Company More Misunderstood Than Apple

Stocks in this article: TSLA AAPL AMZN NFLX FB LULU GM F P

Like conservative and former General Motors (GM) executive Bob Lutz has said several times, right wing smear campaigns cloud reality and rational conversation over electric vehicles.

Tesla's not a car company. It's closer to Apple and Lululemon (LULU) in spirit and execution than it is Ford (F) or GM. In fact, Apple could learn a lot about its roots and better protect its image by taking a close look at Tesla.

Most people in North America (or the world for that matter) will never see a Model S in person. You have to live in certain pockets of the continent (or, again, the world; about a quarter of Tesla's reservations come from outside of the U.S./Canada/Mexico) to catch a glimpse of one, in the flesh, parked curbside, in a lot or zooming down the avenue.

Wahlman hangs in Palo Alto, Calif.; he sees them all of the time. I'm in Santa Monica; I see about one a day now. I expect that number to increase as has been the case with the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt over the last year. While Tesla will never reach Toyota (TM) Prius-like ubiquity, it will come close on an adjusted basis.

In other words, a relatively small number of people can obtain a $65,000 to $100,000 luxury vehicle, therefore, you'll naturally see fewer of them, on the whole, than you do a $20,000 to $30,000 hybrid or $30,000 to $50,000 EV.

And that's cool. That's all Tesla needs. Just like LULU doesn't need the world to drop $150 on yoga pants, Tesla is not, probably never will and has no reason to shoot for mass adoption. Like Apple (or, at least like Apple should be), Tesla is not a market share story. It's a high-end, exclusivity alongside aspirational consumer wow-factor story.

People gawk in Tesla Stores the same way they do in Apple Stores. Except most of us cannot have a Model S, whereas plenty of folks can put together the right number of nickels for an iPod.

That's the story. And Wahlman's correct. Everything else is noise.

-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.
2 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs