Mad Money

Is Tesla the GM of tomorrow?

Cramer pulls back the curtain on Tesla
Cramer pulls back the curtain on Tesla

(Click for video linked to a searchable transcript of this Mad Money segment)

At one point in history almost every American wanted to 'see the world today in a Chevrolet.' In days to come will Telsa become as iconic?

Bulls are quick to tell you, it will. With the car's sleek design and Tesla's state of the art electric engine, bulls think the car maker is about to take the world by storm.

In fact, they're so enthusiastic they're willing to accept the company's $15 billion market cap and 277% advance this year.

"It tends to be an emotionally driven investment," Cramer noted.

Bears however, look at Tesla as a company trading at an absurd valuation, nothing more than the product of irrational enthusiasm.

"Bears take a very rational view. They see a company that can't support its valuation by any standard metric," Cramer added.

And that's the conundrum of Tesla.

1958 Chevrolet
Petrified Collection | Image Bank | Getty Images

The main catalysts driving investors with 'long' positions are emotional while and the catalysts driving 'shorts' are very rational.

That's a tough mix.

Therefore, the stock could trade at lofty valuations for quite some time. Or the smallest negative development could send shares tumbling sharply – in no time flat.

And the company is not without negative developments.

The National Highway Traffic Administration has opened an involving Tesla's Model S.

But even this issue has generated a huge divergence of opinion.

"The bulls say it's lost a third of its market capitalization over this fire issue so the discount's fully in the stock price and it is time to buy. The bears say it's the beginning of a much steeper decline," mused Cramer.

With both bulls and bears claiming victory from the same catalyst, Cramer says it's misguided to expect the stock to trade in any conventional way.

Therefore if you're considering a long position, Cramer thinks it should be for the long-term, as a bet that Tesla is on its way to becoming a behemoth, like GM in the 1950's.

"If Tesla realizes the promise of selling, say, 200,000 cars worldwide in a short period of time—say a couple of years—and rivals don't deliver successful models to compete with Tesla than the stock goes higher," Cramer explained.

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And if you're considering a short position, you're betting that fundamentals ultimately send enthusiasts running for cover.

For example, "If the company's sales decline sharply because of fire concerns or if the company has to redesign the engine in an expensive way, shares will tumble," Cramer added.

Now which of the two scenarios is more likely?

If you're someone like Cramer who prefers conventional analysis, the conclusion is clear -- there's no way of telling.

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

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