Tesla Inc.’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) recent rally has made it the highest-valued U.S. automaker of all time. The latest surge in Tesla’s stock price pushed its market value to nearly $85 billion, higher than Ford’s previous record of $80.8 billion in 1999. So far in 2020, the stock has gained as much as 12 percent.
Tesla has previously been the top U.S. automaker by market value, but had not beaten Ford’s record until this week. The company had already surpassed the market values of General Motors, which has a value of roughly $50 billion, and Fiat Chrysler, which has a value of about $22 billion. Today’s largest U.S. company is Apple Inc., with a market value of more than $1.3 trillion.
Tesla is now worth more than any of the so-called Detroit-three auto makers at any point in history. Tesla’s market value is larger than pre-bankruptcy General Motors, and pre-Daimler Chrysler. (Chrysler and Daimler merged in 1998.) However, it still is smaller than some non-US auto companies, including Japan’s Toyota ($232 billion) and Germany’s Volkswagen ($98 billion).
At the end of last week, Tesla reported that it had delivered 367,500 vehicles in 2019, a record number. That beat the low end of its guidance and exceeded its 2018 total by 50 percent. While the company has yet to turn an annual profit, it did announce a surprise return to profitability in the third quarter. The company recently began production of Tesla Model 3s in its newly opened Gigafactory in Shanghai, which will help it in overseas markets.