What makes a company important? Clothing companies are important because they help cover those of us not willing or able to sew up a storm. Housing companies shelter us. And who could live without whoever it is that makes pop rocks?*

But those are basic needs kinds of things. When we start to discuss things like excitement and innovation, "important" is a more subjective idea. Nonetheless, if you're going to claim that anyone other than Tesla is the most important automaker in the world, you're going to have to argue with Morgan Stanley Research analyst Adam Jonas.

Jonas called the California automaker the world's most important automaker in a new report to investors and he didn't mince words: "Not even two years after the delivery of the first Model S, Tesla Motors has transformed from fledgling start-up to arguably the most important car company in the world. We are not joking. ... Tesla is also emerging as an emblematic force in America's effort to foster high tech manufacturing job growth." His main reasons are as follows:
  • Parts suppliers now thing positively about Tesla and are thinking of building dedicated production lines just to supply Tesla with parts for its electric vehicles. Other automakers are also paying close attention to Tesla. This is a sign that the company has finally become a serious competitor.
  • Tesla could directly employ 20,000 people in seven years and create 100,000 related jobs at other companies. However many jobs are created, Tesla will have a positive effect on the US GDP.
  • The Tesla Model S is the "most American made car on the road, pushing 90 percent US content," which to us might make Tesla the most important car company in America, but Jonas sees a larger impact, apparently.
According to Market Watch, Jonas also sees a big potential in Tesla upcoming battery plant: "The success of the Gigafactory holds the key for the development of an entirely new industry. If Tesla can achieve battery cost per kWH below $150 and defend the IP, there is significant potential for revenue streams not captured in our $320 price target."

Jonas knows there are risks and downsides, which you can read more about at the Los Angeles Times.

*Just trying to think of the least essential product as a joke here.

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