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Tesla Proves It’s Safe as Well as Sexy

TSLA stock teslaTesla Motors (TSLA) stock has been one of the fastest-moving players on Wall Street in 2013. Tesla stock has soared roughly 340% since Jan. 1 as TSLA has made a habit of squeezing out the short sellers and bearish traders at every turn.

(That includes me, by the way, after I made a bonehead bear call on TSLA ahead of earnings.)

But while TSLA stock has proven itself on Wall Street and the Tesla Model S has proven itself to car buyers with the highest-ever rating for an automobile by Consumer Reports, one question has been nagging at some:

Is Tesla safe?

Well, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration solved that mystery today with a five-star safety rating for the Tesla Model S sedan. As Tesla’s press release states, that rating isn’t just overall, “but in every subcategory without exception” and its overall Vehicle Safety Score provided to manufacturers came in at a 5.4 — the highest safety rating of any car tested by the NHTSA.

So that means TSLA stock is soaring, critics love how the car drives, consumers adore the savings on fuel and regulators consider the Tesla Model S one of the safest rides on the road.

Is there anything Tesla can’t do?

Other auto makers Honda (HMC), Toyota (TM), General Motors (GM), Ford (F) and Nissan (NSANY) should take note here. TSLA and its Model S is breaking the mold for success and it would be very wrong to write off Tesla as simply a fad or a niche product given the wide appeal.

Sure, TSLA cars are a bit pricey. And yes, Tesla stock is a bit frothy after strong earnings a few weeks ago pushed it up by double-digits in a single session yet again on a short squeeze.

But this kind of buzz and widespread appeal is obviously translating to real sales as the company continues to enjoy a big backlog — and most importantly, operations that have started turning a profit much faster than Wall Street expected.

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Jeff Reeves is the editor of InvestorPlace.com and the author of The Frugal Investor’s Guide to Finding Great Stocks. Write him at editor@investorplace.com or follow him on Twitter via @JeffReevesIP. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the stocks named here.

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