Tesla overtakes Ford as investors bet on electric dream

4 Apr 2017   Electric Cars

Tesla, the upstart electric carmaker, surpassed US motor pioneer Ford in market value on Monday, as investors look to a future beyond the internal combustion engine. Shares of Tesla, founded in 2003, rose 7.3 per cent to a market capitalisation of $48.7bn, gliding past the 100-year old Ford, whose shares fell 1.7 per cent after disappointing March sales results to a market value of $45.3bn. While it is symbolic for a Silicon Valley start-up to surpass the valuation of a company that helped make motor cars ubiquitous in early 20th century America, car market analysts point out that Tesla achieved the feat based on global deliveries of only 76,000 cars last year — compared with Ford’s global sales in 2016 of 6.6m. “The stock market has always treated Ford like an industrial stock while Tesla has been considered a tech stock,” says Michelle Krebs of Autotrader.com. “Let’s remember — Ford earns money — lots of it. Tesla does not. The real test for Tesla comes when it launches the Model 3, the high-volume, mainstream-priced electric vehicle that is supposed to help the company achieve profitability.” While Tesla’s stock market value surpassed Ford’s for the first time, the electric carmaker had already surpassed its rival in terms of ithe broader measure of enterprise value. Based on enterprise value — a more complete measure of companies’ respective values, since it takes account of their net debt or net cash positions — Tesla is worth just under $60bn, while Ford is worth $39.1bn.

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