The pandemic hasn’t altered Tesla’s capacity of breaking records. The company’s stock price reached $1,000 for the first time in its history, surpassing Toyota in market capitalization and making it the most valuable automaker in the world according to that metric.
Tesla now holds an over $185 billion market capitalization, meaning the total value of all of the automaker’s shares of stock is worth more than any other carmaker on Earth. Toyota now sits in second place, with its $178 billion market cap, with Volkswagen ranking third with a $85.5 billion market cap.
The news is eye-opening for all carmakers simply because Tesla does so much more than just build sustainable vehicles. The company has spread its activity to also cover energy storage and solar energy, something other carmakers are only now trying to achieve.
Tesla had already surpassed Volkswagen in February, becoming the second-most valuable carmaker. Its stocks have been growing since then amid a rise in its production rates and sales in China, the largest automobile market in the world. New developments in batteries have made stocks soar in the last few months.
It’s also not out of the question that the stock price has been bolstered by the milestone that Musk’s other company, SpaceX, just accomplished when it sent humans to the International Space Station (ISS) for the first time. Its success opens the doors for human spaceflight through a government-private partnership, and some of that success may have spilled over to Tesla.
As with other vehicle makers, the coronavirus epidemic has affected the company. But this doesn’t seem to have had an overall negative effect on the costs of shares or on its annual plans.
With six employees testing positive with COVID-19 in California, Tesla CEO Elon Musk reordered to open the company’s facilities there last month -- first in violation of stay-at-home orders and then getting the green light by local authorities. Tesla employs about 48,000, according to its 2019 figures.
Musk fought to keep the company’s California factory open in March, claiming Tesla was considered part of the “national critical infrastructure” as defined by the Department of Homeland Security. The company had just started deliveries of its fifth vehicle, the Model Y SUV, which is expected to become highly popular.
Tesla’s CEO initially used his Twitter account to spread misinformation about the virus, downplaying the threat and calling stay-at-home orders unconstitutional and fascists. He then seemed to have changed his mind, repurposing some of the factories into assembly lines for hospital ventilators.
Despite the disruptions, Musk is still hopeful to keep on schedule the company’s biggest projects of the year. This includes launching one million vehicles for a self-driving ride-sharing network and the production of its first electric truck, which is soon to start after a two-year period of successful tests.