Tesla Model S
(USA Today) -- Tesla Motor's spectacular stock price climb has hit another milestone. In topping $167 a share, the young automaker has passed a $20 billion market cap.
That's impressive for a company that sells only a single model from a single factory, a luxury car out of price reach of most consumers -- with all the limitations that currently go with owning an electric car.
Tesla expects to sell more than 20,000 Model S sedans this year at prices that now start above $70,000, including shipping and before federal tax rebates. But that production level is peanuts compared to the output of major automakers.
How does Tesla's $20.2 billion market cap compare? As of the market's close on Tuesday, General Motors, which has sold 1.6 million cars in the U.S. alone for the first seven months of the year, had a market cap of about $46.6 billion.
And Ford, long considered the most financially healthy of Detroit's Big 3, an automaker that had sold 1.5 million vehicles in the U.S. through July, had a market cap is triple of Tesla's, at about $62.6 billion.
But remember, Tesla has defied the critics, both when it comes to product and profitability. Investors expect the surprises to keep coming.