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Tesla now world’s 2nd largest automaker


CALIFORNIA: Tesla on Monday became the world’s second-largest car-maker in terms of market capitalisation, displacing Ford, whose sales are lagging amid concerns about the ability of the US market to keep growing.

Many major auto-makers reported sharp US sales declines in March compared to a year ago, but Tesla over the weekend said it saw a huge jump in sales in the first three months of the year.

That was enough to send the electric car maker’s stock soaring on Monday, even as investors punished major car brands for reporting lower-than-expected sales last month.

Tesla said it delivered 25,000 of its high-tech vehicles in the January-March period — a 69 per cent surge compared to the first three months of 2016 — indicating it was on its way to meeting its goal of 50,000 vehicle deliveries by mid-2017.

Late last year, the company reported its first quarterly profit in more than three years, but then slipped back into unprofitability in the following quarter.

Investors rewarded the company, and stock movements on Monday reshuffled the hierarchy among US carmakers, with Tesla Motors overtaking Ford for the number two spot and closing the gap with GM, the biggest US automaker by market capitalisation.

Near 1800 GMT, Tesla was up 5.5 per cent to $293.89 for a market capitalisation of $47.9 billion.

Ford, which fell 2.6 per cent, has a market capitalisation of $45.1 billion. GM fell 3.9 per cent and has a market capitalisation of $50.9 billion.

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk marked the occasion on Twitter with a dig at short sellers, investors who bet that the company’s stock would decline.

“Stormy weather in Shortville,” Musk tweeted. — AFP

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