Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA): Unveiling The Model D; What Does It Mean?

tesla motorsTesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) had a good week, rising 6.26 percent from end of trading Monday, Sept. 29, to end of trading Monday, Oct. 6. This was far better than the overall market, which fell for the week — the Dow was down 0.46 percent, NASDAQ was down 1.13 percent, and the S&P 500 was down 0.66 percent.

Much of the gain can be attributed to excitement that started with a mysterious tweet sent out Wednesday night:

Unveiling the Model D — What Does It Mean?

Last Wednesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent a deliberately cryptic tweet to his 1.08 million followers on Twitter. The tweet said “About time to unveil the D and something else,” and it had a photograph of a car half-visible underneath a garage door that had the letter “D” on it. The photo also had a caption that said “October 9, 2014” — which is this Thursday.

The impact of the tweet was explosive. Tesla’s stock price jumped up 4.64 percent the next day, and speculation about the tweet’s meaning was rampant. One of the theories was that the “D” would be the new name for Tesla’s long-planned lower-priced car, which was originally called the “E” (so that the three Tesla model names would spell S-E-X), but was later re-dubbed the “3” after Ford (NYSE: F), having its own Model E car, objected.

Another theory was that the “D” or the “something else” would be a sports car or an SUV that would be smaller than the Model X. Yet another theory was that the “D” stood for “drive,” perhaps referring to all-wheel drive or automated driving features.

U.S. Sales Hit Record High

Tesla set new sales records in the U.S. in September, according to the Inside EVs site, which wrote that Tesla’s sales of 2,500 Model S was the highest single-month sales ever in the U.S. and a big jump from previous months this year. One explanation is that over the summer, Tesla was focused on delivering cars to Asia and Europe, and had also shut down its California production plant for two weeks to retool, and now the company wants to ramp up its U.S. deliveries to meet its goals for the year.

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