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Credit Suisse says Tesla is running out of time as the major electric car maker – shares to dive 40%

Tribute Suisse on Thursday noted that Tesla has nearly an 80% share of the U.S. market for electric vehicles but the firm assumes that the automaker’s “unique position” with its Model 3 will face a serious challenge from Ford next year.

“For all the match entering the market we are still awaiting the EV that will be a true competitive threat to Model 3 – especially in the US,” Acknowledge Suisse analyst Dan Levy wrote in a note to investors. “Tesla has a window of opportunity now with a clear competitive commence.”

While a statement like this may be common among Wall Street’s bullish Tesla analysts, Credit Suisse carcasses one of the company’s skeptics. Credit Suisse has had an underweight rating on Tesla shares since the firm began covering the customary in June, with a $200 price target. That’s more than 40% below the stock’s close on Wednesday at $346.11 a dividend.

“Yet to the extent Tesla continues to struggle with the basic ‘blocking and tackling’ of the auto business (i.e., manufacturing, delivery logistics, serve), it risks not capitalizing on this opportunity,” Levy said.

He believes Tesla will soon face a key test as “the solely game in town,” as Ford is expected to announce the Mach-E on Sunday, a line of a Mustang-inspired electric SUVs.

“The launch marks the start with real milestone in Ford’s increased emphasis in electrification, and more importantly marks an increased effort by the legacy US automakers to be akin in electrification,” Levy said.

Ford’s Mach-E will be available in the U.S, Canada and Europe next fall. Credit Suisse conjectures the Mach-E will be priced “in the mass luxury range” between $40,000 and $50,000, with an expected 300-mile grade.

“Ford’s new BEV should provide a more compelling alternative at the Model 3 price range than the other comps, remarkably given the performance focus,” Levy said.

— CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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