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Electric car maker Tesla became the most valuable automaker in the world on 1 July, almost 10 years after it went public. The achievement is big for CEO Elon Musk, whose SpaceX was also in the news a month ago for making major advancements. Mint looks at Tesla’s ride.

Just how valuable is Elon Musk’s Tesla?

Tesla’s share price hit $1,129.18 on Wednesday, a 52-week high. The company’s market capitalization stood at $208 billion, surpassing Toyota’s $202.74 billion. The company had zoomed past other rivals like Ford and General Motors long ago, when its market capitalization stood at around $80 billion. However, it is worth noting that Tesla remains behind Toyota in production. The Japanese giant sold 10.46 million vehicles in the year to March and posted revenues of 30.2 trillion yen ($281.20 billion). Tesla, on the other hand, ended 2019 with sales of just $24.6 billion, having delivered 367,200 vehicles last year.

Source: FactSet
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Source: FactSet

What is the reason for Tesla cars’ popularity?

The company’s success started with Elon Musk’s master plan. Presented long ago, he planned to build an electric sports car, and use the revenue earned from its sales to make an affordable electric car. The money earned from the latter was further supposed to be utilized to build an even cheaper electric, offering zero emission electric power generation options while remaining at the top of business. Additionally, its autopilot self-driving mode is considered to be ahead of other vehicles. All such factors have made cars like the Tesla Model X, Model S, Model 3, the benchmark for electric vehicles.

What is Elon Musk’s role behind Tesla’s success?

Musk earned $165 million in 2002 from selling PayPal and used it to create SpaceX, which has made big breaks in space exploration. Over the years, Musk became the face of Tesla, and between SpaceX and Tesla, he’s generally associated with futuristic innovation now. His tweets earlier this year wiped billions from the company’s valuation.

How significant is Elon Musk’s SpaceX?

It was the first private company to fire a liquid-propellant rocket into space. This was back in 2008. It was also the first private company to launch a crewed mission to space when its Crew Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 rocket were used by Nasa to send astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station (ISS) on 31 May this year. The company’s Falcon 9 rockets themselves are a breakthrough, since they can be reused, thus cutting the cost of space travel by a marked extent.

By when will Tesla cars begin selling in India?

The sales of Tesla’s cars in India seems like a distant reality for now. Tesla’s cheapest car, the Model 3, had been expected to make it to India. While Musk has shown interest in doing business in India, he also said that it is not feasible right now. “For other countries, we pay in part for the local factory by selling cars there ahead of time. Also gives a sense of demand. Current rules in India prevent that, but recent changes in sales tax give hope for future changes," he said in a tweet on 1 August last year.

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