Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) shares charged to an all-time intraday record of $294.15 Monday, catapulting the company above Ford Motor Co. to become the second largest U.S. automaker by market capitalization. Tesla has a market capitalization of over $47 billion versus Ford’s $44 billion. This also puts Tesla just shy of becoming the largest automaker in the U.S. The title is currently being held by General Motors Co. with a market cap at roughly $51 billion.
Tesla stock surged 5.7% in early trading Monday morning after the Palo Alto-based electric car company announced over the weekend that it had delivered approximately 25,000 Model S and Model X vehicles in the first quarter. The record-setting delivery number was largely bolstered by a 21.5% increase in Model X deliveries over the previous quarter, and a steady increase in Model S deliveries at 5.9%. Despite early complaints that Tesla’s “best car ever”, as proclaimed by company CEO Elon Musk, suffered quality issues with the vehicle’s complex Falcon Wing doors, the company has been able to address issues through a series of over-the-air software updates aimed specifically at Model X. Tesla’s Q1 delivery numbers validates the continued consumer interest in the company’s flashy electric SUV. Tesla delivered nearly as many Model X as its award-winning Model S in the first quarter.
The upward movement in Tesla stock also comes amid general investor optimism over the company’s planned production of its Model 3 mass market sedan. A first look at Tesla’s Model 3 release candidate revealed that the company was on track to begin production in July. First deliveries of Model 3 will be rear wheel drive versions made available to employees. The Model 3 Design Studio configurator is expected to be released sometime in June and around the same time the company will hold its third and final Model 3 event.