Jefferies downgrades Tesla, says it doesn't believe electric carmaker can dominate auto industry

Tesla CEO Elon Musk gestures as he arrives to visit the construction site of the future US electric car giant Tesla, on September 03, 2020 in Gruenheide near Berlin.
Odd Andersen | AFP | Getty Images

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Jefferies on Thursday evening downgraded shares of Tesla to hold from buy, saying it's skeptical that the Elon Musk-led company can one day rule the auto industry.

"We don't believe that Tesla can dominate the industry given the latter's size, structure and politics," Jefferies analyst Philippe Houchois said in a note to clients on Thursday. "Nevertheless, the multiple challenges to the industry business model ensure a durable competitive edge, with a 'messianic' brand reaching far beyond autos, from battery supply to grid storage and autonomous driving."