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Something's got to change at Tesla, analyst says

Tesla Motors needs to better clarify how its "autopilot" feature works after one of its cars crashed in Beijing, one analyst said Wednesday.

The company said one of its cars crashed in "autopilot" mode, months after a man died in a Tesla accident in Florida. The Model X cars are not fully autonomous, but provide assistance while driving.

"Technology has a right to go through steps and to be perfected," CLSA analyst Emmanuel Rosner said on CNBC's "Closing Bell."

A Tesla Model S in a Tesla showroom in Brooklyn, New York
Spencer Platt | Getty Images
A Tesla Model S in a Tesla showroom in Brooklyn, New York

Tesla has repeatedly defended its autopilot feature, saying it leads to fewer crashes than traditional driving. The company also says it informs users about just what the technology does.

Rosner said that the term "autopilot" in Tesla's marketing can be misleading although the Model X is "all about helping the driver."

"I think there's sort of confusion among the buyers of the cars and I think that creates a real problem. The negative side of it is that casts a bad light on autonomous driving," Rosner said. "We really don't view it as a problem with autonomous driving or the direction of the industry. We really view it as an execution problem with Tesla."

He called Tesla's marketing aggressive, but said that it has been powerful for the brand's image.

"I think it does a tremendous amount for their image," Rosner said. "It's something that has been very, very powerful for them, but clearly it's misleading and something's probably got to change."