Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)'s meteoric rise this year has been nothing short of impressive, up over 250% year to date. The company itself has a lot going for it: its Model S received a 99 out of 100 from Consumer Reports, the best score for an auto in the publication's history. Aside from a quality product, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)'s visionary CEO Elon Musk can apparently take any far-fetched idea and turn it into business gold. Despite that, I still believe Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)'s valuation has risen too high too quickly and will face competition from auto giants like Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) that could give Tesla trouble sooner than you think.
Electric vehicles Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)'s share of EVs in the U.S. has grown to nearly 16% this year through June, which is quadruple what it was last year. Ford's success in EVs is part of the reason that it has been able to fuel its overall market share growth in the U.S. by a full percentage point – the most by any full-line automaker, according to the company.
Ford's success derives from a slew of vehicle options, as shown above. Now I understand that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)'s Model S shouldn't be directly compared to Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)'s models because it isn't an apples-to-apples comparison. However, when Elon Musk brings out the mass-produced vehicle at perhaps half the cost of the Model S the lines of competition between Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) products and Ford's hybrids and EVs will definitely begin to blur.
Those who think that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is the future of the industry may be correct, but those same people often think that juggernauts like Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) and Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:TM) will simply roll over and die – which I believe to be very foolish.
Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) will be expanding electrification engineering jobs by nearly 50% to have more than 500 salaried employees working on research and development. It's also investing $50 million in EV development centers to further strengthen its vehicle quality. In addition to all that, Ford is also doubling its electrification battery-testing capabilities this year helping to speed hybrid and EV development by as much as 25%.
"This investment in new engineers and expanded facilities helps us prepare for growth," said Raj Nair, group vice president, global product development in a Ford press release. "All of us at Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) remain absolutely committed to offering customers a choice of leading fuel-efficient vehicles – from EcoBoost-powered gasoline engines and hybrids to plug-in hybrids and electrified vehicles."