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The electric car manufacturer exceeded analysts’ expectations with reported shipments of 25,000 cars and SUVs in the first quarter of this year. The company is now valued at $48.7 billion, about $3.4 billion more than pioneer automaker Ford, which now finds itself in third also behind General Motors.
Tesla has been the target of many short sellers, including Jim Chanos, who is best known for betting against energy company Enron early on, as Bloomberg points out. But a record-breaking stock surge over the past few days puts Musk in the driver seat, and he wasn’t about to give up a chance of poking fun at his doubters.
Stormy weather in Shortville …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 3, 2017
Of course, Tesla doesn’t sell nearly as many vehicles as its competitors. Ford sold nine times the number of vehicles last month than Tesla did all quarter. Ford will also sell 6 million vehicles this year—substantially more than the 200,000 Tesla is pegged to ship out. But Ford missed its marks, and saw its stock fall, while Tesla’s shares rose 3.5 percent to $387.50. Promising sales numbers combined with the upcoming release of a budget-friendly Model 3 have investors bracing for a future of electric, autonomous vehicles.
Some investors still think Tesla’s successes will eventually catch up to it as the company pivots from a specialized sports car producer to one that sells to the masses.
“This is still the auto industry,” Maryann Keller, an auto industry consultant in Stamford, Connecticut, told Bloomberg. “It’s highly competitive and he will have to add plants and people just like GM and Ford do. There will be a day of reckoning at some point.”
Tesla still has a lot of work to do, but today marks another milestone for the company attempting to create the next Model T.
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