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Why Tesla Motors Inc. Stock Raced Ahead Today

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of electric-car company Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA  ) kicked up the voltage today, rising over 7% following a double dose of positive news.

So what: First, at a conference in China, CEO Elon Musk forecasted that the company actually will begin producing vehicles in China within the next three to four years. Musk said, "China is very important to the future of Tesla. We're going to make a big investment in China in terms of charging infrastructure." He vowed to invest hundreds of millions of dollars building out the charging network.

Second, Musk stated, "What we see right now is pretty strong demand. I think probably more demand than we can fulfill this year." That sounds like music to most investors' ears.

Now what: The first piece of news suggests, of course, that orders and demand continue to be robust in China. Helping this is the fact that Tesla will avoid charging the 25% tariff on imports, which will make its vehicles more affordable for Chinese consumers -- the cars will be offered at prices similar to those charged in America. What's more, demand will be robust for the foreseeable future. Every car Tesla produces is as good as sold before it even leaves the factory.

Tesla spent 2013 telling investors and the media that demand continued to outstrip production despite the company not spending a single penny on advertising. It looks like the company is on pace for an encore in 2014, even as the company increases production.

As it stands, production schedules will tell the tale for 2014. Tesla will report earnings on May 7, which will be followed by a conference call. Musk's positive comments this close to the report suggest that it should be upbeat as usual along with strong guidance. With the company's last report, Tesla guided for 7,400 vehicles of production, or nearly 600 per week for the first quarter. It also guided for that amount to rise to 1,000 per week by the end of the year. It will be interesting to see if the company produced more than expected and is on pace to hit the 1,000 per week goal earlier than hoped. 

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Nickey Friedman

Nickey is a select freelancer for the Fool. She writes about food & beverage, dry bulk shipping, and whatever else floats her boat. After selling four successful restaurants, she turned in her knives for a pen and now puts her passion for food, hospitality, and transportation in writing. You can send email to her at

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