Tesla Overtakes GM As Most Valuable US Carmaker, Wait What?

elon musk

What the hell?  Tesla is more valuable than friggin’ General Motors?


Yup, but just by a hair though. GM is worth $50.9B while Tesla barely nudges past at $51B. In the last three years, Tesla had lost $1.9 billion dollars while GM has handily printed $23 billion cash profit.

What’s more, according to Financial News, “Tesla had global deliveries of 76,000 cars last year, compared with its bigger rival’s global sales of 10m in 2016, and Ford’s 6.6m. A recent GM 10k statement puts the Detroit carmaker’s global market share at 10.8 per cent for 2016. Tesla’s global share scarcely registers, at less than a tenth of 1 per cent for the same period.”

Based on those numbers, what the hell is going on here?


FN explains further, “Market cap doesn’t mean a lot. Tesla investors are betting on the promise for the future,” said Michelle Krebs, auto analyst at Autotrader.com who noted the stock market treats GM and Ford, whom Tesla surpassed in market capitalization last week, as industrial companies while Tesla is treated as a tech stock. “The real test for Tesla comes when it launches the Model 3, the high-volume, mainstream-priced electric vehicle that is supposed to help the company achieve profitability,” she said.

No kidding. Lost in all this exuberant Model III hype is GM already beat Silicon Valley and Tesla to the punch with with the first sub-$35k, 200+ range electric vehicle, the Chevy Bolt. No Erlich Bachman or “Aviato” anecdotes necessary.


That doesn’t seem to matter to folks who say they are proponents of EVs. In actuality, their real goal is to map Apple-like zealotry and cult of personality on to the auto industry, in this case Musk’s Tesla. It could run on soybean oil as far as they’re concerned.

Tesla hasn’t been without teething problems and this more than anything, has refuted the notion that just because you have a smartphone and an internet connection, 100 years of manufacturing experience are suddenly irrelevant.

GM understands they are the “square” amongst Silicon Valley hipsters so they have put their collective noses to the grindstone and quietly outmaneuvered the pesky newcomers by introducing the Volt 1.0/2.0 and the Bolt, under budget and ahead of schedule


They left out a key element of this comparo; Bolt on sale now. Model 3? Who knows?

GM has also invested heavily in Lyft and the car sharing program Maven as well. When they sold off Opel/Vauxhall recently they publicly stated they liquidated their European operations specifically to finance the aforementioned “services” and continue it’s pursuit of the electrification of the automobile.

One visit to EV Forums and it becomes apparent how nutty Tesla disciples are. They care not one whit about profit and the hard scrabble reality of selling and servicing half a million cars a year.


They want a “local” hero to come to their rescue and put a dagger in the heart of big oil, Republicans, the boogey man and all other nemeses that social media and the guy next store have created.

They want “local” and sustainable products, will pay top dollar for them, but pick them up in cars produced by non-local global corporations.

Hey guys, GM is a “local” business…

If all this sounds nutty to you, just imagine if you’re General Motors and you have to court this fickle bunch?

As Corvette folks, why the hell should we care about any of this?

Because the viability of General Motors–and Corvette, Camaro and GM Performance–depends that GM not only changes with the times, but leads us into the future with a relevant, profitable product portfolio.

Expect electrification to trickle (haha) down to the GM performance vehicles as well.  GM recently trademarked the E-Ray model name and we will see the electrification of Corvette in the near future.

Like it or not, car sharing, alt fuel propulsion, autonomous vehicles and a generation of folks that will never have a driver’s license are here to stay. This huge shift will occur in our lifetimes folks, probably sooner than later.

FN describes it this way,  “Now that a Silicon Valley start-up had become the largest US car company by market valuation is a significant milestone for an industry that has been trying to accelerate its move away from more than a century of reliance on internal combustion engines. For investors, Tesla is a bet on new forms of mobility, from electric cars to self-driving vehicles, as well as a wager on the centre of gravity of the US auto industry moving from Detroit to Silicon Valley.”

They forgot to add that if unicorn farts, rainbows and Apple store campouts are what establishes the value of a company these days, what unfolds in the next five years will be very interesting indeed.

Waiting in line

If “reservations” and feeding frenzys like this are the future of car buying, God help us all.

About the author

Dave Cruikshank

Dave Cruikshank is a lifelong car enthusiast and an Editor at Power Automedia. A zealous car geek since birth, he digs lead sleds, curvy fiberglass, kustoms and street rods.
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