NEW YORK - Electric carmaker Tesla closed trading on Wednesday with a market value topping $700 billion for the first time.
The latest surge means the company is worth more than General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Fiat Chrysler and Volkswagen combined.
Tesla's share price ended with a gain of 2.8 percent to $755.98 for a total value of a whopping $717 billion. That came after the stock saw a more than 700 percent ascendance in 2020 -- a gain some analysts viewed as inflated.
The auto industry disruptor led by Elon Musk wowed Wall Street yet again over the weekend, reporting annual car deliveries of 499,550, just shy of its 2020 target of half a million, but well above analyst estimates.
The disclosure capped a year that saw Tesla report a series of profitable quarters and join the S&P 500, establishing the company as one of the world's most valuable businesses and elevating Musk to the second-wealthiest person behind Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
While industry analysts do not expect another massive surge in value this year, they remain optimistic about the company's sales prospects, even if the cars remain out of reach for many buyers.
The optimism comes as construction continues on new Tesla factories in Texas and Germany, which will join existing plants in California and Shanghai that are ramping up production.
Musk has expressed determination to cut the price for Tesla's electric cars, which currently start at $37,990 in the US market.
The Tesla chief is developing battery design, material, and production innovations that combine to cut the cost per kilowatt-hour by 56 percent.
That should enable Tesla to field a $25,000 model in "three years-ish," Musk said in September, adding, "it is absolutely critical that we make cars that people can actually afford."
And US sales could be helped by President-elect Joe Biden's commitment to green technology to combat climate change.