In a research report issued today, Stifel Nicolaus analyst James Albertine offered some commentary on Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), after the German automaker Audi announced that it will be unveiling a concept version of an all electric SUV at the International Motor Show 2015 in Frankfurt, with production scheduled from 2018. The analyst rates Tesla Motors shares a Buy, with a price target of $400, which represents a potential upside of 64% from where the stock is currently trading.

Albertine noted, “It appears key competitors are still finding it difficult to deliver a fully electric vehicle that can offer the same, if not better, attributes than its existing gasoline powered fleet. The e-tron quattro, in our view, will have more competition from the next generation Audi Q5 and Q7 than it will from the Tesla Model X. The Model X will offer a more capable design (seating capacity for one, among other factors/features) and even today, much less than 2018, we believe will offer an expected driving range within 10% of the Audi’s claimed 310 miles.”

“While we still await further details as it relates to the e-tron’s performance attributes, it appears, barring Tesla’s potential for self-inflicted production/quality issues, the Model X will have another three years to further distinguish itself among its luxury peers,” the analyst added.

Bottom line: “As it pertains to the view that Audi (and luxury peers) have a distribution advantage vs. Tesla, we maintain that challenges still exist related to re-training/incentivizing sales personnel to focus on EVs. We see lackluster BMW i3 sales as perhaps one symptom of this much broader, and largely overlooked concern, in our view.”

According to, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst James Albertine has a total average return of 16.8% and a 77.4% success rate. Albertine has a 17.9% average return when recommending TSLA, and is ranked #461 out of 3741 analysts.

Out of the 25 analysts polled by TipRanks, 15 rate Tesla Motors stock a Buy, 6 rate the stock a Hold and 4 recommend Sell. With a return potential of 16.8%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $284.47.

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