Cramer: Love Tesla? Here’s your play on the connected car

Suddenly everyone only cares about cars. Jim Cramer finds it remarkable how quickly the automobile has moved into scope as the next big thing in technology, perhaps taking the place of cellphones.

And Cramer totally gets it. Tesla seems like the most exciting thing that has happened to the world of automobiles since the Model T.

"It all came together in one package when Musk spoke at the Recode conference about his cars, and about Apple perhaps producing a rival car in 2020. That could matter someday. It sure doesn't matter now, with Apple's stock currently caught in the realm of the iPhone and the iPhone only," the "Mad Money" host said.

Tesla Model S sedan
VCG | Getty Images
Tesla Model S sedan
"You want excitement, go test drive a Tesla. You want to try to make money? Go buy stock in NXPI." -Jim Cramer

What does matter for Tesla is demand. Customers may have to wait until 2018 to get their car, even though Tesla raised $2 billion last month to build the factories to boost output.

That is quite a different scenario than the pricing incentives built into a car by Ford or General Motors.

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"I have been saying that Tesla is a cult stock for ages, meaning that there is no logical way to explain how and where it trades," Cramer said.

But that doesn't mean Cramer is recommending Ford or General Motors, either.

For those investors who want to play the connected technology car with a stock, Cramer recommended NXP Semiconductors. Last year it shelled out $12 billion to acquire Freescale and became the top automobile related semiconductor company.

Cramer estimated the total addressable market for semiconductors in cars right now as about $30 billion. New cars have roughly 100 chips controlling almost all electronics within the vehicle.

"I think that is only going to increase over time," Cramer said.

Ultimately, the problem with a cult stock is that Cramer can't advise investors whether to buy or sell it. Motor companies all seem like value traps to him.

But NXP Semi's stock only sells at 12 times next year's earnings and has a rapid growth rate. Given the hype surrounding the connected car, that price is still cheap to Cramer.

"You want excitement, go test drive a Tesla. You want to try to make money? Go buy stock in NXPI," Cramer said.

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