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Tesla China Deliveries Set EV Maker for Strong '21, Wedbush Says

Tesla is on pace to deliver 850,000 vehicles in 2021, a strong trajectory, according to Wedbush analyst Dan Ives.
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Tesla's  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report March deliveries in China create a strong trajectory for the electric-vehicle major into the rest of 2021, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives says. 

The China Passenger Car Association on Friday reported its March numbers, showing that Tesla delivered 35,500 vehicles, about double the February figure. 

"The narrative is [clear: Despite] the haters and bears focused on China EV sales softening in January, we have seen a storybook comeback from Tesla and domestic EV players NIO,  (NIO) - Get NIO Inc. American depositary shares each representing one Class A Report Li Auto,  (LI) - Get Li Auto Inc. Report Xpeng  (XPEV) - Get n.a. Report and others in this key region," Ives said in a Friday note. 

Wedbush maintained its outperform rating and $1,000 price target. 

Shares of the Palo Alto, Calif., company at last check were off 0.9% at $678. 

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Wedbush sees a run rate of 300,000 units delivered in China for the year, which would be the linchpin for the company hitting its 850,000-vehicle delivery goal worldwide. 

"As this green tidal wave hits its next phase globally, ... the Tesla EV demand story is just starting to play out," Ives said. 

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Additionally, lifting the 200,000 electric vehicle tax-credit ceiling, which was restored to Tesla and General Motors  (GM) - Get General Motors Company Report, and a likely $10,000 electric-vehicle tax rebate will be major catalysts for industry growth in the U.S., thanks to the focus on green energy from President Joe Biden's administration. 

Last week, Tesla reported stronger-than-expected vehicle deliveries for the first quarter, paced by its midpriced Model 3 sedan and Chinese demand for its new Model Y SUV.