There's more to Tesla than its billionaire boss, according to one analyst.
Philippe Houchois, equity research analyst for U.S. and European autos at Jefferies, said the company has become "much bigger" than Chief Executive Elon Musk, who is seen by many as the face of the electric vehicle maker.
"Tesla at this stage is much bigger than Musk," Houchois told CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe" on Monday. "Of course, Musk gets a lot of attention. But Tesla has been able to be profitable, at a level of pricing and product that nobody expected to generate cash."
Houchois does not own shares of Tesla, he told CNBC later in the day by email.
Last year was a challenging one for Tesla and its CEO, marked by an ill-fated take-private deal, quibbles with Wall Street analysts and what Musk described on Twitter as a transition "from production hell to delivery logistics hell."
Musk's tweets have proven to be a source of contention for investors. He and Tesla were fined $20 million each last year over a tweet in which the former said he had "funding secured" for a deal to take Tesla private at $420 a share. The Securities and Exchange Commission claimed he had misled investors.
Then, earlier this year, regulatory issues returned to haunt the company and its boss, after the SEC asked a judge to hold him in contempt for violating its settlement deal by making an "inaccurate" February 19 tweet about production.
Musk has continued to use Twitter to make announcements related to the company. Just overnight, Musk said Tesla would unveil its highly anticipated Model Y SUV on March 14.