Being part of a club whose only members are the Saudi oil company Aramco and the technology companies Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and Google means a lot in the competitive world of business. Doing so by dedicating yourself to selling cars has only been done so far by a single company: Tesla. The company led by Elon Musk surpassed a trillion dollars in value on the stock market this Monday, a symbolic barrier that for some means a new step on the road to the success of the electric vehicle firm and for others, that the markets have definitely lost head.
More than the figure, to get an idea of the magnitude of where Tesla has come, it is useful to see where his closest pursuers are. Japan’s Toyota is worth 242,000 million, that is, four times less. The German Volkswagen is around 150,000 million dollars. Only by adding these two with the next 12 industry players, including flashy names like Daimler, General Motors, BMW, Ford and Ferrari, do they catch up with Tesla.
The improvement is not supported by current data. In the first six months of the year Tesla sold almost 400,000 cars worldwide, while Toyota surpassed five million in that period. Its improvement responds to a question of expectations: Investors believe that in a world eager to leave the polluting era of fossil fuels behind, Tesla’s electric fleet and its charger network is by far the best positioned. In the third quarter, it was expected to deliver 220,000 cars, but delivered 241,300, as if the semiconductor crisis that suffocates some brands was not with it.
The gasoline that has inflamed its price above unthinkable thresholds has been the news that the car rental company Hertz plans to acquire 100,000 Tesla cars to electrify its fleet. The reaction, as sometimes happens in the volatile stock market history of the company, has far exceeded any relation to the real economy: its value grew by more than 70,000 million for a possible contract of 4.200 million. Its founder, the eccentric Elon Musk, thus increases his advantage over Jeff Bezos (Amazon), as the richest man on the planet. Musk celebrated the milestone on Twitter, his favorite place to communicate with his more than 61 million followers: “Wild $ T1mes!” (Wild times), he exclaimed making a play on words with the number 1 and the T of trillion —1 billion, in its translation into Spanish—.
Tesla’s rise is accompanied by other significant news. The same day that it exceeded a trillion dollars, it surpassed Facebook – the owner of WhatsApp and Instagram – in the ranking of the most valued companies. And in September, for the first time, one of its cars, the Tesla Model 3, became the best-selling model in Europe with 24,591 units, ahead of the Renault Clio (18,264 deliveries), the Dacia Sandero (17,988) and the Volkswagen Golf (17.507). The achievement is even more relevant if its prices are compared: in Spain it is available from 47,970 euros, a much higher amount than that of its pursuers.
This Tuesday, the Tesla stock hit a high of $ 1,094, compared to the $ 40 it was worth five years ago. That means that whoever invested $ 40,000 in the company then has more than a million today. These multiples, in the case of Elon Musk, owner of 22.4% of Tesla, take on other dimensions: his fortune exceeds 250,000 million dollars. The pandemic gave the firm a good scare, like others, but since its lows in March 2020, the recovery has been meteoric: the stock has appreciated more than 1,100%.