Posted on March 12, 2016 by Matt Pressman
Already, the Tesla Model X has won some impressive accolades and awards. Most recently, the press embraced the new all-electric SUV from Tesla Motors [NASDAQ: TSLA). So what does Wall Street thinks of the vehicle? Well... it turns out that Wall Street Analyst Andrea James from Dougherty & Company recently got a chance to go for a Model X test drive. According to Benzinga*, James explained, "In general, I think the Model X handles great, which means that car people will love the car and that auto journalists will write good reviews about it. Demand is not going to be a problem. Several times, I had the thought, ‘They think of everything!'"
What else did the Wall Street Analyst think of her first experience in the Model X? She elaborates, "There are two key differences between myself… and the typical Tesla buy-side investor who reads my research reports. For one, I'm a woman. And two, given the choice between driving myself anywhere and taking an Uber, I choose Uber. Every time. I don't speak about driving in terms of torque or acceleration or suspension or turning radius, or any metrics that car guys talk about… Personally? I don't really care how fast it goes from zero to sixty. I care most that the car is safe, because I'm going to put my flesh-and-blood kid inside."
In a Twitter* post that revealed more of her Model X-related comments, she explains the importance of safety when considering a Tesla: "Over the years I've had people ask me, 'Should I buy a Tesla?' And I sort-of joke back 'Can you afford to get maimed in car accident?' I think I've personally sold three Teslas with that line. There's truth to it. Tesla's safety profile truly sells cars. The Model S is the safest sedan in the market [receiving a] five-star safety rating. It's looking like the Model X will receive similar marks. NHTSA has not yet issued its rating on the X, but Tesla tells us that in its own safety tests, they couldn't flip the car."
She also explains, "I also care that the car has lots of room for people, kids, and all our stuff, and that we can hitch our skis and snowboards onto the back and head up to the mountains for a snow day. The seven-seat configuration still leaves plenty of room for groceries and gear."
Above: Wall Street Analyst Andrea James from Dougherty & Company taking a test drive (Source: Bloomberg*)
Broadly speaking, James highlighted four observations from her test drive:
The Fun Factor: "The Model X handles like it's a small, nimble vehicle, instead of a spacious SUV."
"Delightful" Windshield: "The helicopter-cockpit-style windshield and rear sun roofs make the car feel spacious and bright, no matter where you're sitting. The panoramic view is awesome. Pictures and words don't do it justice."
The Buying Experience "Is A Breath Of Fresh Air": "Tesla's direct sales model is not new, but the benefit is worth repeating. The typical car-buying experience is awkward and stressful. When I test-drove the Model X, I wasn't afraid to gush about things I liked or things that impressed me. In a typical dealer scenario, I'd have to pretend to be nonchalant, for fear that if the dealer knew I loved what he's selling, he'd screw me on the price."
Auto-Pilot: "And then there's auto-pilot. Wow. This feature should be mandatory for drivers like myself. My diverse and ample skill set, ahem, does not include driving. I'm a near-sighted nerd, have bad depth perception, and no sense of direction... Model X drove more competently and confidently than I ever do. In fact, I felt like I was receiving driving lessons. The car drove the speed limits, switched lanes smoothly, and kept a safe driving distance from the car in front. Amazing. I literally could not have done better."
After her comments hit the media, Bloomberg brought Andrea James on for a televised interview to expand on her thoughts related to the Tesla Model X. Check out the segment below...
Moving forward, we'll be sure to keep you updated on reactions to the Tesla Model X from the media, Wall Street, and new owners. Best of all, we're working on our own Model X review which we'll publish soon here on our blog.