Tesla bucked the trend friday, regaining the top spot in the U.S. auto market, and this time it seems to have real dominance. As Tesla’s share price soared to an all-time high on Friday, the company’s market value was close to $80 billion, more than double Ford’s. The veteran carmaker is no longer able to return, with General Motors’ all-electric Chevrolet Bolt plunging 47 percent in the fourth quarter of last year and down 9 percent for the year.
Meanwhile, the Model 3 manufacturer delivered a record 112,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter of last year, and the Shanghai super plant has also started production. The next SUV, model Y, is expected to be available this summer.
Gene Munster, managing partner at Loup Ventures, a venture capital firm, said: ‘The demand for electric cars is real and people are rushing to buy Model 3. Everything is starting to get along. “
After years of dramatic changes, investors are increasingly feeling that Tesla is finally making a big step forward. The company’s share price has been rising since it unexpectedly reported third-quarter profits in October.
On Tesla’s most recent earnings conference call, Musk said he thinks upcoming Model Y sales will exceed the combined sales of the Model S, Model X and Model 3. In November, he announced plans to build a third car factory near Berlin. Berlin is home to German carmakers BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen, whose first electric cars have not attracted much demand.
China is the world’s largest auto market and the most important market for Tesla. Tesla said Friday that it has produced nearly 1,000 vehicles for sale and has begun delivering them, even less than 12 months after the Shanghai Superplant broke ground. It also reached a production rate of more than 3,000 units per week, excluding local battery packs that only started production at the end of December.
“Shanghai’s deliveries should be the next catalyst for sales growth,” said Robert W. “Importantly, the plant appears to be expanding faster than we expected,” Baird analyst Ben Kallo wrote in a note. “
In 2012, the year Tesla launched its Model S sedan, the company delivered only 2,650 cars. Seven years later, that number reached 367,500, 138 times the current figure.
The Munster of Loup Ventures says Tesla will meet Wall Street’s expectations for 2020. Analysts on average expect Tesla to deliver 463,000 units this year, up 28 percent from a year earlier.
“If Tesla succeeds in launching the Model Y,” he said, “they’ll be able to achieve their goals.” “