Elon Musk is on track to become the richest person in the world after a surge in Tesla shares increased his net worth to a whopping $184.5billion.
The car marker’s stock price jumped 4.9 per cent on Wednesday afternoon, just two days after finishing the first trading session of the year with a gain of 3.4 per cent.
The boost means Musk now trails Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos by just $3billion in terms of net worth, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index.
Bezos has held the title of world’s wealthiest person since 2017, and is currently worth $187billion.
It comes after Musk overtook Bill Gates as the second-richest person in November, a significant jump for the entrepreneur who started off 2020 ranked 35.
Musk managed to increase his wealth by more than $146billion in the last 12 months, despite the economic downturn brought by the coronavirus pandemic.
Tesla reported a series of profitable quarters throughout 2020 and joined the S&P 500, establishing the company as one of the world’s most valuable businesses.
Elon Musk is on track to surpass Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s as the richest person in the world, after a surge in Tesla shares increased his net worth to a whopping $184.5billion.
Tesla shares had jumped 4.9 per cent on Wednesday afternoon, bringing Musk’s net worth to $184.5billion
On Saturday, Tesla Inc. reported better-than-expected 2020 vehicle deliveries, driven by a steady rise in electric vehicle adoption, but narrowly missed its ambitious full-year goal during a punishing year for the global auto industry.
The company delivered 499,550 vehicles during 2020, above Wall Street estimates of 481,261 vehicles, according to Refinitiv data – but 450 units shy of CEO Elon Musk’s target of half a million vehicles.
Musk tweeted he was ‘proud of the Tesla team for achieving this major milestone.’
‘At the start of Tesla, I thought we had (optimistically) a 10% chance of surviving at all,’ he said.
Musk’s wealth has soared in the last 12 months. He now trails Bezos’s by just $3billion
On Twitter, congratulations from supporters and bullish investors poured in, lauding the electric vehicle maker for its stellar year, which has defied wider auto industry trends of slumping sales, quarterly losses and global supply chain disruptions.
But some online investor accounts criticized Tesla for saying it had achieved its guidance.
Tesla at the start of 2020 said it would ‘comfortably exceed 500,000 units’ for the year, a target it has left unchanged despite the pandemic.
Chief Financial Officer Zachary Kirkhorn in October said Tesla was ‘aiming to achieve (its) original 2020 guidance.’
Tesla recently reported the company’s deliveries for 2020 had surpassed expectations, with 499,550 vehicles delivered
Musk took to Twitter earlier this week to tout the accomplishment and celebrate Tesla’s survival
Tesla has pinned hopes on new markets such as Europe and Asia, with competition intensifying in its home turf as legacy automakers double down on their investments in the booming EV space.
Tesla’s delivery push has been supported by its new Shanghai factory, the only plant currently producing vehicles outside California.
The carmaker said Model Y production in Shanghai has begun, with deliveries expected shortly.
Bloomberg reports the Model Y will cost 339,900 yuan ($52,074) in China when sales begin in the country.
Meanwhile, the Model Y Performance car will cost 369,900 yuan ($56,620) in China.
In the United States, production of the Model Y takes place in Fremont, California, and delivers on the vehicle began in March 2020.
Palo Alto, California-based Tesla said it delivered 180,570 vehicles during the fourth quarter, a quarterly record for the electric carmaker, beating estimates of 163,628 vehicles.
The good sales news for Tesla caps off a busy 2020 for Musk.
In May, his SpaceX company launched its first manned flight, becoming the first private company to bring somebody to orbit.
He was also embroiled in controversy about his opinions on pronouns, which drew criticism from many, including his partner, Grimes, who gave birth to their son in May.