LOS ANGELES -- Tesla Motors Inc. CEO Elon Musk said an article suggesting the electric carmaker may be a takeover target was a bad analysis of the company, which he expects to remain independent.
Tesla rose as much as 3.5 percent in Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading on Monday after the Business Insider Web site posted a column by two University of Virginia students who wrote that the company could be a "prime acquisition target" and was unlikely to be successful if it remained independent.
"Their analysis of Tesla is incredibly bad," Musk said Monday by e-mail. "Tesla is of course a potential takeover target, like almost all public companies. However, I'm also highly confident that we can succeed as an independent company."
Tesla seeks to become the leader in battery-powered cars, aided by supply agreements with Toyota Motor Corp. and Daimler AG, which also own stakes in it the Palo Alto, California,-based company.
Tesla last month said its fourth-quarter net loss widened to $51.4 million from $23.2 million a year earlier as it increased investment in the Model S, an electric sedan due in 2012.
"I agree that it is incredibly difficult to create a new company in the car business, which has huge barriers to entry," said Musk, 39, who is also CEO of Space Exploration Technologies Inc., a privately held rocket launch company based in Hawthorne, California.
"The transition to electric vehicles is a huge technology shift, which is always tough for large companies," Musk said, "and this is where opportunity has historically arisen in many industries."