Tesla overtakes Toyota as most valuable car manufacturer
TESLA has left Toyota in the rear-view mirror to become the world’s most valuable car company.
The California-based electric vehicle maker is now worth almost $206bn (£165bn) – $3bn more than the Japanese automaker.
The moment marks a new high for the company’s stock, which has been rising for the past six months amid better than expected financial results and vehicle delivery numbers.
Initially hit by the Covid-19 outbreak in China, the company recovered quickly, capitalising on demand for its cars in the country, and has been able to reopen all its factories and begin delivering its newest car, the Model Y SUV.
It is due to release its newest delivery figures for the second quarter later this week. It comes as the company disclosed that it is paying chief executive Elon Musk almost $1m to insure the board of directors against lawsuits for three months.
The unusual arrangement follows another Tesla disclosure earlier this year that had allowed the chief executive to personally indemnify board members.
In a filing with regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Tesla said it would resume searching for conventional liability insurance but that Mr Musk would continue with this arrangement for another 90 days.
“In return, Tesla will pay Mr Musk a one-time fee of $972,361,” the company said, adding that the search for a new insurer had been delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The insurance issues follow a series of legal claims against the company and its board, including a lawsuit over the acquisition of solar panel company SolarCity, which in January was resolved in a $60m settlement by all the directors other than Mr Musk.
In an April update to its annual report from last year, Tesla said it had been unable to find a well-priced quote for the coverage from an insurer. Instead, Mr Musk had agreed to personally provide coverage substantially equivalent to such a policy for a year.
Critics of the company said it was evidence of Mr Musk’s inappropriate level of influence on the company.
Tesla is paying chief executive Elon Musk $972,361 to insure the board of directors against lawsuits