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Tesla Passes GM as Most Valuable Carmaker in U.S.

Tesla, the electric car company, has become the most valuable automaker in the United States, surpassing General Motors on Monday.

Just last Tuesday, Tesla moved past Ford for the second-most market capitalization.

On Monday, Tesla’s value hit $50.84 billion, edging GM at $50.79. Tesla’s value has risen nearly $3 billion since last week when at $48 billion it passed Ford at $45 billion.

Next within reach is Japan’s Honda, which has a value of $54 billion. Others ahead of Tesla are No. 1 Toyota at $172 billion market cap followed by Daimler Chrysler, Volkswagen and BMW.

Tesla’s valuation rose after Piper Jaffray analyst Alex Potter on Monday upgraded Tesla’s stock from a price target of $223 to $368. In trading Monday, Tesla’s shares increased to an all-time high of $313.73 on Nasdaq early in the day.

“More so than any stock we’ve covered, Tesla engenders optimism, freedom, defiance and a host of other emotions that, in our view, other companies cannot replicate,” Potter said in an analysis. “As they scramble to catch up, we think Tesla’s competitors only make themselves appear more desperate.”

He said he drove a Tesla for seven months and met with the company last week.

Rebecca Lindland, executive analyst at Kelley Blue Book, told CNN that Tesla is treated differently than other automakers. “They’re classified as a tech company, so they’re not really held to the same standards,” she said.

Tesla, like other companies, is developing a self-driving car.

“When we think about the future of mobility, they’re very well-positioned,” Lindland said.

Despite the high valuation, Tesla remains unprofitable and doesn’t sell anywhere near as many cars as its competitors.

Bloomberg reported analysts predict Tesla will lose more than $950 million this year compared with a $9 billion profit for GM and $6.3 billion income for Ford.

Tesla has lost $2.3 billion the past five years on revenue…

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