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aws试用账号(www.2km.me)_A US$1 trillion Tesla almost makes you feel for the other car giants

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Massive rise: A Tesla showroom and service centre in Amsterdam. Tesla shares surged this week, briefly lifting the electric car company’s market value above US$1 trillion (RM4.15 trillion). — AFP

CALL me sentimental, but while everyone was lauding Tesla Inc’s astonishing rise to a more than US$1 trillion (RM4.15 trillion) market value on Monday, all I could think about was how wretched the rest of the auto industry must feel, and how they might respond.

In just one frenetic trading session, Tesla added US$118bil (RM489bil) to its worth, or almost double that of Ford Motor Co’s entire market capitalisation.

The trigger for this latest surge – a deal to supply 100,000 Teslas to Hertz Global Holdings Inc – is a head-scratcher, as it represents “only” about US$4.2bil (RM17.4bil) of revenue.

And arguably it’s not even this year’s most significant car rental deal.

In July, a Volkswagen AG-led consortium said it would acquire Europcar Mobility Group, Europe’s largest car rental operator, for around €2.5bil (RM12bil).

VW plans to develop Europcar into a “mobility platform,” offering services such as car-sharing and vehicle subscriptions.

Europcar already expects that in two years, more than one-third of its fleet will be electric or hybrids.

Investors yawned. Tesla’s United States and European rivals have tried every trick in the book to hype their technology chops and rein in Tesla’s stock market lead. Many have copied directly from Elon Musk.

They’re rolling out electric models, building battery plants, investing heavily in software and making the sales process more customer-friendly. I expect they’ll continue shaking things up, but so far nothing has made much difference.

In one respect, this double-standard is totally justified: Incumbent automakers took too long to take electric vehicles seriously and Musk seized the advantage.

Yet even now that they’ve begun proselytising for the electric cause, their valuations remain relatively meager.

As has been widely noted, Tesla is worth more than the next nine most valuable listed carmakers combined. This is the stock market’s way of telling the laggards to give up, which is odd considering how most of them still make plenty of money.

But Tesla has also become consistently profitable, and if it wanted it could tap its inflated equity to fund plants and technology, as it’s done in the past.

In contrast, rivals must fund those investments mainly from their own.

On the same day Tesla breached a US$1 trillion (RM4.15 trillion) valuation, the Swedish premium manufacturer was forced to cut the size of its imminent initial public offering (IPO) due to lacklustre investor demand.

Volvo sold almost 800,000 vehicles in the past 12 months – around the same as Tesla – and though its electric volumes are currently modest, it’s vowed that by 2025 half of its sales will be electric and by 2030 they all will be.

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