Tesla: Model S fire that rattled investors caused by accident

Tesla's plans to hike output and add new models increase execution risk that could weigh on the company's shares, an analyst warned Wednesday.

(BLOOMBERG) -- Tesla Motors Inc. said a fire in one of its vehicles on Tuesday was caused by a crash.

The Model S "collided with a large metallic object in the middle of the road, causing significant damage to the vehicle," Palo Alto, Calif.-based Tesla said in an e-mailed statement Wednesday, after reports of the crash rattled some investors in the company.

Tesla shares fell 6.2 percent, or $12.05, to close at $180.95 in New York trading on Wednesday.

Earlier the shares tumbled as much as 9.1 percent after a picture of a Model S fire in Washington State was published by the Jalopnik Web site.

The drop was the biggest one-day slide in Tesla shares since July 16.

The driver exited the vehicle safely and called authorities.

A fire caused by damage sustained in the crash was contained, Tesla said.

The website had earlier said it couldn't provide a reason for the incident.

Tesla, which has seen its market value top $20 billion this year, is intent on becoming the world's most profitable seller of battery-powered autos, using technology designed in-house.

The company's plans to boost production and add new models increase execution risk that could weigh on the stock, Ben Kallo, a Robert W. Baird & Co. analyst, said Wednesday.

Kallo downgraded the company to neutral from outperform.

The electric-car maker is increasing output of its Model S sedan and plans to introduce a Model X SUV and "any hiccups in execution present stock-price risk in the near to intermediate term," Kallo wrote in a report.

The company plans this year to deliver 21,000 of its flagship Model S sedans, priced from about $70,000, and double that volume next year as sales in Europe and Asia expand.

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