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Tesla’s Model X electric sport utility vehicle with double-hinged gull wing doors, left, and its Model 3 car are seen on display at the company’s store in Hangzhou, capital of eastern China’s Zhejiang province, on April 21. Photo: Longwei/SIPA Asia via ZUMA Wire

Tesla approaches milestone of world’s most valuable carmaker

  • The US-based electric vehicle maker’s shares closed above US$1,000 for the first time this week, raising its capitalisation to more than US$190 billion
  • It still has some distance to close to reach Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp, which has a US$210 billion valuation
The surge in Tesla’s shares so far this month moved Elon Musk’s company even closer to displacing Toyota Motor Corp as the world’s most valuable carmaker.
With a market capitalisation of more than US$190 billion, Tesla still has some distance to close to reach Toyota’s US$210 billion valuation, which includes treasury shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A rally of about another 11 per cent in Tesla shares could see it claim the crown if Toyota holds steady, with Tesla already up 23 per cent since the beginning of June.

Tesla’s valuation comes despite a gulf in the scale of the two carmakers. The Palo Alto, California-based maker of electric vehicles (EVs) produced 103,000 cars in the first quarter, or about 4 per cent of the almost 2.4 million made by Toyota.

Tesla climbed another 9 per cent on Wednesday to close above US$1,000 for the first time as Musk, the company’s chief executive, told employees it was “time to go all out” and put its Semi truck into volume production.
Elon Musk, co-founder and chief executive of Tesla, is looking at a banner year for the company, as it moves closer to claiming the title of world’s most valuable carmaker. Photo: Agence France-Presse
Wedbush Securities touted the “massive” opportunity for Tesla in China, with the company appearing to be on track to reach 100,000 deliveries from its Shanghai factory in the first year.
Tesla became the world’s second-most valuable carmaker in January, when it surpassed Volkswagen. It is now worth more than twice the German rival, which said on Wednesday that it will meet an end-of-summer deadline to start delivering its flagship ID.3 electric car.

Tesla’s recent rally has also been boosted by hype surrounding newly listed Nikola Corp, a maker of electric and hydrogen fuel-cell trucks.


Toyota, meanwhile, forecasts an 80 per cent plunge in profit this year and expects it could take until the first half of next year before the car market recovers to pre-coronavirus pandemic levels. Shares in Toyota are down about 10 per cent so far this year, trading about 17 per cent lower than the record high it reached in 2015.


Tesla starts delivery of made-in-China cars

Tesla starts delivery of made-in-China cars

Toyota’s market valuation includes the 14.3 per cent of shares that Toyota itself holds as treasury stock, worth around US$30 billion. Tesla does not hold any treasury shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Despite pioneering interest in fuel-efficient vehicles with the Prius hybrid, Toyota was late to shift to EVs, betting first on hydrogen fuel cells. The company is now changing course with a series of high-profile investments in EVs, self-driving cars and futuristic cities.

Tesla’s secret batteries aim to rework the maths for electric cars and the power grid

“My true mission is to completely redesign Toyota into a mobility company,” Akio Toyoda, chief executive and grandson of the Japanese carmaker’s founder, said last year.

Tesla has 10 buy-equivalent ratings, while 12 analysts recommend holding the shares and 15 advising clients to sell, while Toyota has 13 buy ratings, 8 holds and 1 sell, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Tesla closes on Toyota as its stock keeps rising