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Tesla overtakes GM as U.S.’s most valuable automaker

A week after overtaking Ford, Elon Musk's electric car maker has unseated another of its Detroit rivals, shifting the auto industry spotlight to California


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Tesla is gearing up for its Model 3 launch later this year with investor sentiment riding high. PHOTO: Alexis Georgeson/Tesla

PALO ALTO, Calif.—A week after leapfrogging Ford Motor Co. to become the no. 2 U.S. carmaker by market value, Tesla Inc. has snatched the top spot from General Motors Inc.

The electric vehicle and energy company headed by Elon Musk will start trading April 11 with a market capitalization of US$50.95 billion, narrowly edging out GM, which was valued at $50.88 when Wall Street closed Monday.

Tesla shares have been on a tear over the past four months, driven by largely positive delivery numbers and a brightening electric vehicle outlook. The company’s shares closed at closed $312.39 Monday, up approximately 71 per cent from their $181.88 close Dec. 1.

Conventional automakers, meanwhile, have had a rough month on the markets. GM is trading down more than 10 per cent since the beginning of March.

When Tesla overtook Ford last week, Musk used the occasion to gibe at critics.

“Stormy weather in Shortville …” he tweeted, pointed to investors who have bet against the company.

Despite the surge in market value though, Tesla remains well behind its well-established rivals by most other metrics. It has yet to turn a full-year profit and produces a fraction of the vehicles built by the Big Three automakers.

The launch of its cheaper, mass-market Model 3 is seen as the company’s next big test.


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