Morgan Stanley says Tesla is world's most important automaker [w/poll]

2012 Tesla Model S
2012 Tesla Model S
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If you had to choose one automaker, out of the dozens out there on the marketplace, to identify as the single most important in the world, which would it be? Toyota, the world's largest automaker? General Motors, which once laid claim to the same and is still the largest in America? Volkswagen, the largest in Europe? Or maybe Hyundai, which has risen like a phoenix from the proverbial ashes to become the fourth largest in the world? Nope, nope and nope, says financial services company Morgan Stanley: it's Tesla.

The potentially startling conclusion came in the form of an investment report cited by the LA Times and issued by Morgan Stanley research analyst Adam Jones, who wrote that "Tesla Motors has transformed from a fledgling start-up to arguably the most important car company in the world."

To back up the claim, Jones asserts that Tesla is not only an emerging force to be reckoned with in its own right, but has also spurred other, more established automakers to take electric vehicles (and their champion) more seriously. It's also prompted local governments to solicit Tesla to build its new gigafactory in their state, and encompasses more US content than any other car on the road.

Although Tesla stock is currently trading at around $230, Jones values it at closer to $320 because of the positive direction in which it's heading, suggesting that it will have a one-percent share in the auto market worldwide by 2028. Is that enough to make Tesla the most important automaker in the world? Jones seems adamant, and carries with him the weight of a true financial powerhouse. For our part, we're not so sure we'd go that far, but the argument certainly has its merit.

Feel free to make your opinion heard in our informal poll below.

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