They’re not profitable, they don’t always (or often) meet deadlines, and they don’t sell the most cars, but Tesla can now claim one superlative among car companies — they’re the most well-funded. As of today, they’re the most highly valued car United States car company at $50.84 billion, passing GM’s $50.79 billion.
Given that Tesla doesn’t have the kind of fundamentals that would be attractive to traditional investors, it’s easy to see why this is an imperfect comparison. At the risk of oversimplification, more investor attention is paid to how well traditional automakers like GM and Ford are being run right now – Tesla, like other tech giants, gets the big bucks off of speculation about the future of the company. Considering that Tesla has done a lot to spearhead both electric and autonomous technology, that’s not unreasonable (even if things haven’t always gone perfectly).
A lot of the froth around Tesla right now is related to the new Model 3. The Model 3 is Tesla’s first crack at making long-range electric affordable — the sedan is priced at $35,000 before government rebates and incentives. So far, the biggest issue with the Model 3 is how Tesla can produce enough to meet sales, which is one of the better problems to have.
It’s also worth remembering that Tesla isn’t just a car company. A couple years ago, CEO and founder Elon Musk announced the Tesla Energy division, which produces home batteries to store solar energy. While solar adoption has been slow, Tesla is set up to be a big winner if production costs come down and solar cells become more durable.
But, back to cars — which is the next company Tesla will be passing? That could be Honda, which is sitting at $54 billiion. Don’t expect them to take the global crown anytime soon, though — Toyota is sitting pretty at a staggering $151.34 billion.