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Tesla Poised to Become America’s Most Valuable Automaker

Stock run-up pushes carmaker just a hair short of toppling GM.

by on Apr.04, 2017

Tesla's market valuation is streaking toward the $50 billion mark, passing Ford and approaching GM.

As trading wrapped up on Wall Street Tuesday, Silicon Valley automaker Tesla stopped just short of two major milestones: a market capitalization of $50 billion and bragging rights as America’s most value company by market capitalization.

Tesla shares have been on a tear this past week, despite continuing losses – and dire warnings by some key analysts. The bull run appears to be driven by strong first quarter sales and the revelation that Chinese financial powerhouse Tencent Holdings has taken a 5% stake in the company.

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Tesla’s stock rise counters the weak reception traditional automakers, notably General Motors and Ford have gotten lately. Both have tumbled sharply since the beginning of the year, despite management efforts to make them more attractive to investors. (more…)

Tesla’s Market Value Surpasses Ford: $48.2B v. $45.1B

Musk pokes fun at short sellers in latest tweet.

by on Apr.03, 2017

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is enjoying the company's bump in stock price following its report that it set a new production record in the first quarter of 2017.

This story has been updated with additional information.

Bigger is not always better. Of course, that adage can be balanced out with fact is stranger than fiction, especially when it comes to stock valuations.

Tesla’s been confounding experts in a variety of arenas since its inception, and now with the current record spike in its stock price after its Q1 sales announcement, its making auto analysts shake their heads.

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The Palo Alto, California-based EV maker has a current value of about $48.2 billion. Pretty impressive but all the more so when you compare it to Ford’s current total of about $45.1 billion. The bump came when the EV maker stock jumped about 5% on news that it delivered 25,000 vehicles in the first quarter this year. (more…)

Tesla Sets Q1 Production, Sales Records

Despite analysts' caution, investors continuing driving up shares.

by on Apr.03, 2017

Tesla has been launching non-traditional showrooms and displays, like this one at a Nordstrom's.

Tesla got a jump on the rest of the auto industry, reporting late Sunday that it set new production and delivery records for the first quarter of the year.

That comes as particular good news for the Silicon Valley manufacturer of electric vehicles, Tesla stretching its finances as it prepares for the launch of the all-new Model 3 sedan later this year. Sales had slumped during the final quarter of 2017 due to a mix of production snags, including the shift to a new version of the maker’s Autopilot system.

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Tesla was forced to return to Wall Street late in the January-March quarter, raising about $1.4 billion in a new stock offering. Investors responded positively, despite CEO Elon Musk’s warning that the maker’s finances were “getting very close to the edge.”

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Chinese Investment Firm Takes 5% Stake in Tesla

Tesla Autopilot car hits police officer, adding new concerns about autonomous vehicles.

by on Mar.28, 2017

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company needed an infusion of cash, and it got it, from Tencent, which now holds 5% of Tesla stock.

One of China’s largest technology investment firms has taken a 5% stake in the U.S. battery-electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla.

In a public filing, Tencent Holdings said it has purchased nearly 8.2 million shares of Tesla stock. The automaker’s shares have been on a roller-coaster ride in recent months as the company struggled to fund the development of its critical Model 3 battery sedan.

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The automaker’s shares surged on news of the Chinese investment. (more…)

Tesla Rooftop Solar Cells Well Be Ready for Your Garage Well Before Model Y

Roof tiles to debut in April; battery crossover still “a few years away.”

by on Mar.27, 2017

CEO Elon Musk with a model house with a Tesla car, battery-backup system and solar tiles.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk now confirms long-standing rumors there will be an SUV companion to the new Model 3 sedan, but don’t expect to place an order anytime soon, he cautioned in a series of tweets.

The battery-ute will come well after Tesla begins taking orders for a new line of solar roof shingles. A product of the recent acquisition of SolarCity, those power-generating tiles will be part of what Musk envisions to be a range of green energy technologies in the Tesla catalog, including solar cells, electric vehicles and home and office battery backup systems.

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“There will be a Model 3 and a Model Y,” Musk told a Twitter follower, adding in a separate tweet that the crossover model will be “a few years away.”

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Will the Tesla Model 3 Be the Safest Car Ever?

New battery-sedan could prevent 90% of accidents, says analyst.

by on Mar.24, 2017

Tesla promises to launch Model 3 production in July, with retail sales following later in 2017,

Tesla has promised that its upcoming Model 3 will be loaded with a variety of high-tech features, including the latest version of the maker’s semi-autonomous Autopilot system. And now, automotive analysts from Morgan Stanley are predicting the sedan will be the safest car ever made.

With “a supercomputer in every car,” they estimate in a new report that the new Model 3 will be 10 times safer than existing vehicles – or 90% less likely to be the cause of either vehicle-to-vehicle or vehicle-to-pedestrian fatal crashes. But that actually could disrupt both the conventional new and used car markets, Morgan Stanley is forecasting.

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“Look for an acceleration of the market’s awareness of the obsolescence of used cars and an acceleration of insurance company awareness to reprice premiums,” the report suggests.

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Despite Ongoing Quality Issues, Tesla Owners Bond with Their Cars

“Owners see themselves as pioneers.”

by on Mar.21, 2017

Despite endemic quality problems, Power finds strong emotional attachment to Tesla products.

Tesla owners could be accused of having a love/hate relationship with their vehicles. The maker’s Models S and X have repeatedly been slammed for serious quality issues, yet owners retain a strong emotional bond to those battery-electric vehicles, according to a new study by J.D. Power and Associates.

But the question is whether those buying the next generation of Tesla products, starting with the Model 3 sedan set to go into production in July, will be nearly as forgiving. Moving into the mainstream carries significant risks, according to various analysts.

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“Tesla owners see themselves as pioneers who enjoy being early adopters of new technology,” said Kathleen Rizk, director of global automotive consulting at J.D. Power. “Spending $100,000 or more on a vehicle that has so many problems usually would have a dramatically negative effect on sales and brand perception. Right now, though, Tesla seems immune from such disenchanted customers.”

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Tesla Drops Base Models S 60 and 60D

Customers willing to pay for better range.

by on Mar.20, 2017

The low end of the Model S range failed to attract much interest from buyers.

Tesla hoped to win over buyers on a budget by introducing two more affordable versions of the Model S a year ago, but both the 60 and 60D battery sedans are being pulled from the line-up next month, according to the Silicon Valley automaker.

Turns out buyers are willing to come up with the extra cash to get the extra range offered by two slightly more expensive versions of the Model S, the 75 and 75D, Tesla has discovered. They offer a minimum EPA rating of 265 miles per charge.

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That fits with the general direction of the battery-car market, according to several industry analysts and insiders who spoke to TheDetroitBureau.com. Demand for shorter-range electric vehicles is largely flat-lining, while there’s growing interest in vehicles that can deliver at least 200 miles per charge.

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Wall Street Throws Tesla a Lifeline

Stock offering does better than expected.

by on Mar.17, 2017

Tesla needed cash to ensure the Model 3 launch.

Despite growing concerns among industry analysts, investors haven’t given up on Tesla. Anything but.

Wall Street came up with another $1.2 billion in capital for the Silicon Valley battery-carmaker this week as it went back for an infusion aimed at helping complete development of the critical new Model 3 SUV set to go into production in July. And it’s possible the figure could climb to $1.4 billion.

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The latest stock offering went off barely a year after Tesla’s previous turn to the market, and was meant to “reduce any risks associated with the rapid scaling of (our) business due to the launch of Model 3, as well as for general corporate purposes,” the company said. It also came just weeks after Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned that the maker’s finances were “getting very close to the edge.”

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Tesla Hopes to Charge Up with $1B Stock Offering

Wall Street growing increasingly jittery ahead of Model 3 launch.

by on Mar.16, 2017

Tesla CEO Elon Musk plans to buy the first $25 million worth of shares from the company's new $1B offering.

Running out of juice just as it prepares for the most important product launch in its short history, Tesla is once again going to the well, hoping to raise $1 billion through a new stock offering.

The announcement comes just weeks after founder and CEO Elon Musk revealed a dim fourth-quarter earnings report and warned that the battery-carmaker was “getting very close to the edge” in terms of its cash reserves.

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The latest stock offering, which comes less than a year after Tesla’s previous turn to the market, is meant to “reduce any risks associated with the rapid scaling of (our) business due to the launch of Model 3, as well as for general corporate purposes,” the company said. (more…)