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Mario Gabelli On Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) & Elon Musk: ‘I Am Not So Sure He Should Be Selling Direct’

Mario Gabelli is one of the 40 or so billionaires tracked by Insider Monkey, and while he may not have the same name recognition as someone like Warren Buffett, his GAMCO Investors asset management firm is absolutely massive–GAMCO manages over $30 billion in assets. Gabelli spoke with our friends at FOX Business Network about Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), and more broadly about the electric vehicle market.

It’s worth noting that Gabelli didn’t hold stock in Tesla at the end of last quarter, but his sixth largest position was in auto part wholesaler Genuine Parts Company (NYSE:GPC), so you could say he has a reason to keep his eyes on the space. According to his interview with Fox, the billionaire and his team “try to look out over the next 10 years…. But at the same time you’ve got to think about what’s going to happen tomorrow. You want to be aware of the sugar high that we’ve had since Bernanke gave us QE2 and how does that wear off and who and what and how do we maintain that.”

Mario Gabelli, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)

When speaking of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Elon Musk specifically, Gabelli was quite frank, stating: ”There’s a big hullabaloo that the model that Elon Musk has is to sell direct to the consumer […] Boy that flies in the face of a very established dealership system and I am not so sure he should be selling direct.” Below are a few other tidbits from the FOX Business Network interview.

On whether he pays attention to the electric car craze:

“We try to look out over the next 10 years, what sectors will work. For example the rising middle class in India and China and what does that mean for companies like Boeing and what does it mean for global consumption and the economy. We also try to think out in the United States, health and wellness, how do we eat better? Organic, natural foods. But at the same time you’ve got to think about what’s going to happen tomorrow. You want to be aware of the sugar high that we’ve had since Bernanke gave us QE2 and how does that wear off and who and what and how do we maintain that.”

After talking about Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) (above), Gabelli mentioned what market factors he looks at as soon as he wakes up in the morning:

“At 4:30 a.m. I would get on whatever instrument I have and basically look at the euro, where is it, the 10 year bond, gold oil and then look at some of the indices but then I look at who is making any announcements and deals.”

So there you have it. If Gabelli’s disinterest in owning Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) outright wasn’t already enough of an indication, he’s not crazy about the company’s direct selling model. Philippe Laffont, Roberto Mignone and D. E. Shaw are a few hedge fund managers who were long Tesla in Q2, so there’s still interest from other corners of the smart money’s world.

To check out which stocks Mario Gabelli does own, check out his full 13F portfolio here.

Recommended reading:

Donald Yacktman Explains Why Apple Isn’t As Cheap As You Think

Big Investors Are Buying ARO, NWSA and More

My Top 2 George Soros Picks

Disclosure: none

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