Companies

Tesla nears historic milestone of world’s most valuable car manufacturer

Bloomberg June 10 | Updated on June 11, 2020 Published on June 11, 2020

With a market capitalisation of more than $190 billion, Tesla still has some distance to close to reach Toyota’s $212 billion valuation

The surge in Tesla Inc’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 $190 billion, Tesla still has some distance to close to reach Toyota’s $212 billion valuation, which includes treasury shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A rally of about another 14 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 automobile makers. The Palo Alto, California-based maker of electric cars produced 103,000 vehicles in the first quarter, or about 4 per cent of the almost 2.4 million made by Toyota.

Tesla climbed another 9 per cent Wednesday to close above $1,000 for the first time as Musk, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), told employees it was time to go all out and put its semi-truck into volume production. Wedbush Securities Inc touted the massive opportunity for the company in China, with Tesla 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 automobile maker in January, when it surpassed Volkswagen AG. Its now worth more than twice the German rival, which said Wednesday 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 battery-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell truck maker.

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 auto market recovers to pre-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 hit in 2015. Toyota’s market valuation includes the 14.3 per cent of shares that Toyota itself holds as treasury stock, worth around $30 billion.

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.

My true mission is to completely redesign Toyota into a mobility company, Akio Toyoda, CEO and grandson of the automobile manufacturer’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.

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Published on June 11, 2020
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