Will Tesla Motors Inc Be More Valuable Than Apple Inc.?

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Although Tesla has a market capitalization that is 95% lower than Apple’s as things stand, CEO Elon Musk says that it will overtake the tech giant by 2025.

Apple is currently trading 18% under its May 2015 high, and the success of the Tesla Model 3 launch was far more successful than predicted, writes Peter Cohan for Forbes. According to Reuters the new car received $3 billion worth of orders in just 36 hours.

Tesla unlikely to catch Apple by 2025

This stellar performance pushed the price of stock in Tesla up 7% since the announcement. The company now has a market capitalization of $32.6 billion, down 14% from its all-time high last July.

It appears that Musk is working from the same aspirational marketing playbook as Apple. The first cars cost up to $132,000 despite limited range, and helped to build the cachet of the brand. It was always Musk’s plan to start out in the luxury market and then pursue growth with cheaper cars.

Despite recent good news it looks like quite a stretch for the company to chase down Apple so quickly in terms of market capitalization. In 2015 Musk said that Tesla would have to grow at 50% per year with 10% profit margins for ten years in order to have a market capitalization of $700 billion by 2025.

Musk’s growth strategy appears to be bearing fruit

Tesla would need to grow at 41% per year to reach that target. Barring a major catastrophe at Apple it seems unlikely that it will be passed by Tesla, especially given that the electric carmaker now has to work out how to handle higher volume production.

According to Bloomberg Tesla is planning on manufacturing 500,000 vehicles per year by 2020. It will also double the amount of Supercharger stations by the end of 2017, and it wouldhave to double its revenue growth rate at the same time if Musk’s prediction were to come true.

Despite the fact that buyers might have to wait 18 months to get their Model 3, thousands of people were willing to pay a $1,000 deposit in order to reserve a vehicle. There are also concerns that buyers might have to pay a $7,500 premium. The federal tax credit for that sum runs out after Tesla builds over 200,000 of the vehicles.

However Tesla still managed to create great excitement around the product, something which Apple could learn from.

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