Tesla stock is a bubble & it is going down, top fund manager says

Shares of the US electric car producer Tesla are going to see a sharp fall as interest rates are rising after the Covid crisis, says Lansdowne Partners fund manager Per Lekander.

He told CNBC that he thinks the company is in a bubble and that he took a short position on Elon Musk’s firm, meaning he will profit if the value of Tesla’s stock drops.

Tesla’s market value surged to over $800 billion in the 12 months leading up to January, before sliding back to less than $600 billion in February. It now stands at around $679 billion.

“My take is that this year is going to be the comeback for the incumbents,” said Lekander, adding that German carmaker Volkswagen is the company that he’s particularly bullish on. VW is currently valued at €119 billion ($141 billion).

“There are a few golden nuggets, which I think are going to be long-term winners,” Lekander added. “In the short term, my guess if I’m right on the macro call that interest rates go up and the market wakes up to [the fact that] the incumbents are not as badly positioned as they think, then yes, I think Tesla is going down.”

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Lekander also made some comparisons to the dot-com boom of 1999, saying: “If you think about the visionaries who talked about the internet in 1999, if you now listen to them, they are actually underestimating what happened. The development was even more radical than what happened.”

He pointed out that Cisco has a much higher market value today than it had in 2000. “It didn’t stop it from going down 80% first.” The equivalent in Europe was probably Nokia, according to Lekander, as the company also went down 80%. “I think that is what we are going to see here in this tech spec hype space,” he said.

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