“Maximum” Bob Lutz, former GM product czar and already outspoken guy, was interviewed this week on CNBC’s “Squawk Alley” to discuss Tesla’s stock price plummet. During the interview, Lutz echoed Elon Musk’s assertion that Tesla’s overvalued, and Lutz went on to say it will remain a “fringe” product until the next-gen Tesla debuts.
Lutz has been an ardent defender of the Chevy Volt, the plug-in hybrid he had a hand in designing, though he’s also come out and said it should have been a truck instead. Lutz’s latest venture has him shoehorning supercharged V8 engines from Chevy into Fisker Karmas and doing the talk show circuit, appearing as an expert guest on shows like this.
As far as Tesla is concerned, Lutz rightly points out that their total production thus far doesn’t equal even a single day of GM or Ford’s worldwide production output, despite what the stock price might say. It’s also an expensive car, which is why Lutz calls it a “fringe” product, rightly pointing out that the average transaction price is around $100,000.
So what will make Tesla mainstream, and raise the stock value accordingly? It’s not the Model X, but rather the Model III, which Elon Musk says will be priced around $35,000 before tax credits, and be able to drive 200 miles per charge. Some analysts don’t think that’s going to happen, but Lutz says over the next decade he expects battery costs to drop as range increases. Lutz has also gone on record as saying the electric future is “definitely coming.”
So is Lutz a Tesla fan? I’m not sure, though as he says in the interview, there’s a lot of hype and speculation around Tesla. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though as far as stock prices go, Tesla might not be at the bottom of its correction just yet. As of this writing, TSLA is down below $250 a share, and will probably end the day there.