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This Barclay’s Analyst Thinks Tesla Bulls Are Living In ‘The Matrix’

April 8, 2017, 7:57 PM UTC

Tesla’s shares may be surging, but that doesn’t mean everyone thinks it’s smooth sailing for the electric automobile maker.

Barclay’s analyst Brian Johnson said in a research note this week that Tesla bulls appear to be living in a real-life version of The Matrix and are blind to the reality that the company faces several significant challenges, according to CNBC.

Johnson has long been a Tesla bear, notes CNBC, and said Tesla’s supporters have taken the blue pill, a reference to the 1999 science fiction film.

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In The Matrix, the protagonist, Neo, is given the option to take either a red or blue pill. A red pill “allows him to see the universe as it is” while the blue pill “allows him to continue in his ignorant bliss,” Johnson’s research note said, according to Barron’s.

“On Tesla, we think many investors have taken the blue pull, while we remain stubbornly in the red pill camp,” Johnson wrote.

Tesla’s push into self-driving cars, like its latest version of its Autopilot software, doesn’t mean that the company is significantly ahead of competitors, Johnson believes.

“Tesla still lacks the industrial rigor and scale required for autonomous, in our view,” Johnson and his colleagues wrote, according to Marketwatch.

Johnson also believes that Tesla will face an increasing number of competitors specializing in electric cars, and that it will have difficulty moving into other areas like energy and insurance as it expands its core business.

Despite Johnson’s pessimistic outlook, Tesla’s shares continue to still be booming.

Tesla’s stock rose to $304 earlier this week, marking the first time the company’s stock surpassed $300. The company’s shares were still trading over $300 on Friday after the markets closed.