Tesla, the electric car maker, hit another milestone in the automotive industry on Monday (April 10): surpassing General Motors in terms of market value. Last week it surpassed Ford Motors in terms of market value.
According to a report in The New York Times, Tesla’s stock surpassed $313 in trading on Monday, giving it a market value of $51 billion, which is a little more than GM. Tesla’s rise is noteworthy given Ford and GM have been in the automotive industry for decades and Tesla hasn’t. It also comes as Ford in the first quarter of this year sold hundreds of thousands more vehicles than Tesla did in all of last year. Still, investors think Tesla has a lot of room to grow as demand for electric vehicles increases. The report noted that traditional automotive companies are also viewed as lagging even though they are doing OK from a financial perspective.
Late last month China’s internet giant Tencent, owner of the wildly popular messaging app WeChat, bought a 5 percent stake in U.S. automaker and energy storage company Tesla to the tune of $1.8 million. On Tencent’s part, the move looks to capitalize on Tesla’s fast-growing market in China, which last year accounted for over $1 billion of the automaker’s total revenue. The move may also position Tesla to collaborate with Chinese rideshare company Didi Chuxing, in which Tencent invested back in 2015. Didi set up an artificial intelligence lab in Silicon Valley earlier this month, said Recode, which signals that the company is also investigating self-driving technology. Working together, Tesla and Tencent could feasibly leverage Didi’s existing network in China to bring self-driving vehicle models into the nation of over 1.3 billion.