2014 Tesla Model SEnlarge Photo
Elon Musk has probably been given a lot of advice during his time at Tesla--some good, and some bad.
Bond manager Jeffrey Gundlach is the latest to offer his own take on the business to Musk though--and it isn't what you might be expecting.
According to Bloomberg, Gundlach has suggested the Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] CEO get out of the car-making business, and concentrate fully on developing batteries for use in other vehicles.
In the past, we've seen several traders downplay Tesla, perhaps because they've shorted stock and stand to lose a great deal if the automaker's shares keep rising as they have.
In contrast to those traders though, Gundlach says he'd much rather buy Tesla shares than invest in a company like Twitter--and is much more concerned about the "killer" return speculative investors could get from Tesla becoming a battery-only business.
Once Tesla's battery 'gigafactory' comes on-stream, the automaker really will be a battery business--potentially doubling the worldwide output of lithium-ion batteries once production is up to speed.
But that's part and parcel of Tesla's automotive expansion, ensuring it can supply its own vehicles--the Model S, the upcoming Model X crossover and a future lower-priced electric sedan--with enough batteries for projected production volumes.
Gundlach says he's already tried to meet with Musk to persuade him to take the battery-only route. Speaking to Bloomberg, he said Tesla could be "wildly transformational" in the same way electricity and electromagnets were at the advent of their discovery.
He sees Tesla as a better investment than technology companies like Twitter, whose shares recently dropped to their lowest point yet, less than a sixth the price of Tesla shares.
Gundlach asks what a company like Twitter really creates, suggesting a business like Tesla could be much more significant.
It certainly makes a change from the usual Tesla-related trader rhetoric--but we're not sure Elon Musk will really take the advice seriously.
There's plenty of potential left in Tesla as a car company--and a lot of loyal customers who'll be only too happy to buy its products for some time to come.