Shock as Toyota overtaken as most valuable car maker
It has never made a full-year profit and makes a fraction of the vehicles of its rivals, but Tesla is now the world's most valuable carmaker.
Led by billionaire Elon Musk, shares in the US electric vehicle maker rose 5 per cent overnight Wednesday to give it a market value of $US207.5 billion ($300 billion).
That pushed it past Toyota which has a market value of $US202.5 billion ($292.4 billion) despite the Japanese automotive titan making 30 times the number of cars than its upstart electric rival.
Tesla, which has sparked an electric vehicle revolution, sold 367,200 vehicles in 2019.
In contrast, its more traditional rival Toyota sold 10.46 million.
That has not stopped Tesla's share price from skyrocketed by close to 400 per cent over the past year to stand at about $US1120 a share.
Toyota's share price has slide by about 2 per cent over the same period.
The value of California-based Tesla is also more than double that of the combined values of General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler.
The stunning surge has raised the eyebrows of veteran investors across the globe while even Mr Musk tweeted in May that the "Tesla stock price is too high imo (in my opinion)".
While Tesla's sales remain niche compared to its traditional rivals, it has captivated the imagination of investors as a bet on the future under the visionary Mr Musk, who has challenged conventional wisdom on how a business leader should act while pushing the industry towards electric cars.
The company's share price surge has also delivered a multimillion-dollar windfall to former Telstra chief financial officer Robyn Denholm, who took over as Tesla chair in 2018.
Her stock options are currently worth about $220 million.
Mr Musk's frequent outbursts on Twitter - his comments about Tesla's business status have sparked a number of investigations by US regulators - have generated shareholder pushback.
London-based advisory firm Pensions & Investment Consultants this week urged Tesla shareholders to remove Mr Musk, saying his Twitter account poses a "serious risk of reputational harm".
- with AFP
Originally published as Shock as Toyota overtaken as most valuable car maker