Tesla Shares Fall to a Third of Peak Value as China Sales Stall

Jan 14, 2015 06:30 PM EST | Jordan Ecarma


Tesla stock dropped around 9.4 percent for its lowest share price in eight months today as the electric automaker took a hit in China sales.

Model S sales in the world's biggest auto market have fallen as Chinese buyers worry about not being able to access charging stations, according to .

The innovative automaker likely won't be profitable until 2020, CEO Elon Musk said Tuesday at the auto show in Detroit.  

Tesla shares reached their peak close of $286.04 on Sept. 4 but have lost about a third of their value to trade at $185. Falling stock value has subtracted on paper for shareholders, $2.9 billion of which belonged to Musk.

Despite the losses, analysts still rate Tesla shares highly, and the drop could simply be the popular stock correcting itself.

Two important pieces of the Tesla vision still in the works could help the Palo Alto, Calif.-based carmaker eventually turn a profit: the famous "gigafactory" going up in Nevada and the upcoming Model 3.

The lithium-ion plant will purportedly reduce Tesla's battery costs by nearly a third, while the Model 3 could make the Tesla brand accessible for the everyday consumer.

Starting around $70,000, the coveted Model S is more of a status symbol than a vehicle for everyday buyers, but the Model 3 would be available for about half that. 

Tesla is planning to launch the more affordable $35,000 model by 2017 as part of a goal to manufacture half a million vehicles in five years; however, eager buyers should keep in mind that the company's upcoming Model X hasn't exactly had a swift ride to market.

Finally slated for this summer, the falcon-winged Model X has illustrated Musk's perfectionist nature, as the model's launch date has been pushed back multiple times.

As Musk to reporters in Detroit, "I do have an issue with punctuality." 

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