Tesla passes Ford in market value for 1st time, moves closer to GM

MLive.com

For the first time, Tesla Inc. passed Ford Motor Co. in market capitalization as the electric car maker raised its mark to $48.7 billion.  

Ford ended Monday's trading at $45.6 billion with General Motors resting at $51.2 billion, Bloomberg reports. 

Company CEO Elon Musk was not shy in poking the short-seller bears after jumping the No. 2 U.S. automaker in market value and moving closer to No. 1 General Motors. 


While the market numbers represent optimism in Tesla's future, it's about the only metric the company stacks up to Ford in. Tesla sold a little more than 40,000 vehicles in the U.S. in 2016, while Ford nearly sold 1 million of just its F-Series trucks. 

This news, first reported by Bloomberg, comes a day after Tesla reported a record number of vehicle deliveries in 2017's first quarter. The Palo Alto-based company reports it delivered around 13,450 Model S and another 11,550 of its Model X SUVs. 

Automakers reported its March sales number Monday, April 3, with Detroit's Big 3 enjoying some mixed results as truck and SUV sales continued to dominate the market. Ford dropped 7.5 percent from March 2016 in overall sales, 24 percent in car sales, but did enjoy a 10 percent bump with its top-selling F-Series. 

GM had an overall gain of 2 percent, with a 21 percent increase coming in the small midsize SUV segment to help the country's top-selling automaker to post a gain. 

Fiat Chrysler reports a drop of 5 percent in overall sales in March 2017, with the Dodge sales up, Ram sales up, but a decrease of 15 percent in fleet sales. FCA enjoyed increases with the Jeep Grand Cherokee (22 percent), its Doidge brand (10 percent) and the Ram Truck brand (6 percent).

"I don't know if people want electric cars, but people wants Tesla," Ben Kalla, an industry analyst with Robert W. Baird & Co., told Bloomberg. "I'm not an Elon Musk worshiper, but people that would normally buy a Porsche are buying Teslas right now."  

Tesla also claims that another 4,650 vehicles were out for delivery as Q1 numbers were being tallied. This simply means the in-transit vehicles will count toward Q2 2017. 

"This was a new quarterly record for us and represents a 69% increase over Q1 2016," the company reports in a news release. "Our delivery count should be viewed as slightly conservative, as we only count a car as delivered if it is transferred to the customer and all paperwork is correct."

Musk has said that Tesla will make 5,000 vehicles a week once production of its Model 3 starts this summer. 

The Associated Press reports Tesla posted its first profit in three years back in 2016's Q3, but followed that up with a $121 million loss. It notes that Model 3 optimism has helped push Tesla's shares up by 30 percent since the end of 2016.

"Investors want something that is going to go up in orders of magnitude in six months to six years, and Tesla is that story," Kelley Blue Book editor Karl Brauer tells the New York Times. "Nobody things Ford or GM is going to do that."  

The fact that people can't even buy Teslas in Michigan, adds another fold to the news of the company's market value jump over Michigan-based Ford. The Great Lakes State doesn't allow Tesla sales due to the fact that the company doesn't employ traditional dealerships. 

The Secretary of State has denied the electric car maker's application for dealership licenses in the past. The Palo-Alto company sued the state, its SOS Ruth Johnson, Attorney General Bill Schuette and Gov. Rick Snyder in September 2016. The company argued the state's ruling was unconstitutional. 

Tesla does have a showroom in Metro Detroit at the Somerset Mall in Troy. The gallery opened in December 2016, and has specialists and explainers available on the mall's first floor.