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Industries

Tesla no longer 'biggest US autormaker' after $12 billion value drop

AFP | Fri,2017-07-07

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Tesla lost its place as the biggest US cautomaker by market capitalization on Thursday, handing over the crown to General Motors (GM), after a slump in share prices erased more than 12 billion US dollars of Tesla's value.

Around 1845 GMT, GM had a market capitalization of 52.6 billion US dollars, about 1.9 billion dollars more than the California-based electric car maker, which had overtaken the Detroit-based auto manufacturer in April. 

Tesla had a big edge over GM in market value as recently as June 30, but shares reacted poorly to Tesla's latest car delivery figures.

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The CEO of the electric car giant Elon Musk announced on Monday that Tesla would start producing its first mass-market Model 3 sedans on Friday, two weeks ahead of schedule, with the first deliveries set for July 28. The Model 3, which targets the middle-class market with a price of 35,000 US dollars, plays a crucial part in Tesla's vision to bring electric cars to the mainstream.

However, analysts were instead fixated on the second quarter delivery pace, which came in at 22,000 vehicles, less than the 23,655 forecast.

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Goldman Sachs, an American multinational finance company, slashed its six-month price target on Tesla shares to 180 US dollars from 190 US dollars per share on Wednesday, warning that demand for the company's established cars was "plateauing," pressuring profit margins.

Moreover, Tesla's Model S once again fell short of the top rating in a key crash test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the agency announced Thursday.

Adding to Tesla's woes, the company is facing a more crowded market after Swedish rival Volvo announced Wednesday that it will phase out production of conventional petrol-only cars from 2019, with all new models to be either electric or hybrids.