Consider that it took Ford Motor Co. decades to reach a market cap of $20 billion. How long did it take Tesla? Three years. That’s a huge sum for a company with fewer than 20,000 cars on the road. Even Tesla founder Elon Musk is shocked. “I really feel the valuation is more than we have any right to deserve,” he said in a recent interview, adding, “We need to make sure we really knock the ball out of the park in the coming years.” Some might say Tesla is already sending a few balls over the fence. In August, not only did the company say it would ramp up production by 25%, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded Tesla’s Model S the best safety rating of any car ever tested. Automakers that once dismissed the threat of electric cars are now watching the company’s every move, perhaps the way carriage companies eyed Ford when Model Ts started rolling off the line.
DOLLAR CHANGE IN MARKET CAP, FROM 2010 TO 2013 (ALL CURRENCY IN U.S. DOLLARS)
FIAT – $16B
Market cap: $9.5B
Revenues: $115 billion