Tesla stock has had a difficult year, but maybe the electric vehicle pioneer deserves a break. It turns out it is hard to make electric cars.
Just look at three potential competitors for Tesla (ticker: TSLA). The privately held maker of high-end home appliances Dyson, start-up Faraday Future, and 2018 electric-vehicle initial public offering NIO (ticker: NIO) are all hitting bumps in the road.
First of all, Dyson is no longer making electric vehicles, and was unable to find a buyer for its technology.
“The Dyson Automotive team have developed a fantastic car; they have been ingenious in their approach while remaining faithful to our philosophies,” read a company news release on Thursday. “However, though we have tried very hard throughout the development process, we simply cannot make it commercially viable.”
When Dyson unveiled plans to make an electric vehicle in 2017, it “was hailed by many as a signal that traditional [auto makers] would face a lot more competition as the world moved more towards electric vehicles which were simpler to make,” wrote RBC analyst Joseph Spak in a Sunday research report. Replacing the internal combustion engine isn’t simple, according to the analyst.
As for Faraday, its founder Jia Yueting is bankrupt, though the company said in a news release on Sunday that “will not affect any of [Faraday’s] normal business operations.” In fact, the company says the matter will help facilitate an eventual IPO.
Shares of Chinese EV maker NIO have struggled too, dropping about 76% year to date. They are down almost 90% from their all-time high. The stock started out this month on a strong note, jumping nearly 10% October 8 after reporting 4,799 vehicles were delivered during the third quarter. Shares, however, have given up all gains since then.
All that news makes Tesla’s year look OK—even with CEO Elon Musk’s SEC issues and the company’s weaker-than-expected deliveries. Tesla stock is down 23% year to date, worse than the 5% gain of the Russell 3000 Auto & Auto Parts Index and the 15% gain of the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the same span.
Tesla will report its full third-quarter numbers on October 23 after the market closes. Telsa stock declined early in October after the company disclosed 97,000 deliveries for the third quarter. It will take about 105,000 deliveries in the fourth quarter—a company record—to meet the full-year guidance given earlier in 2019.