Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Tesla Inc. stock is the new ultimate driving machine.

Shares of Elon Musk’s electric-car maker climbed 1.4 percent as of 9:49 a.m. Friday, boosting its market capitalization to $61.6 billion, about $400 million more than BMW AG. Tesla now ranks as the fourth-most valuable automaker, behind Toyota Motor Corp., Daimler AG and Volkswagen AG.

Musk engendered more enthusiasm for the shares this week by reaffirming that the Model 3 sedan, Tesla’s most affordable car yet, will start production on time in July and be followed by a cheaper crossover he sees eventually drawing more demand. That vehicle, called the Model Y, is scheduled to arrive as soon as late 2019 and will necessitate its own assembly plant, the CEO said during Tesla’s annual meeting Tuesday.

Tesla topped U.S. rivals General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. by market capitalization in April, a change in rank the largest car dealer in the country called “inexplicable.” Tesla delivered fewer than 80,000 vehicles last year and has only reported two profitable quarters in its short history. GM, by comparison, sold more than 10 million vehicles and expects to earn more than $9 billion this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Craig Trudell in Southfield, Michigan, at ctrudell1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Trudell at ctrudell1@bloomberg.net, Anne Riley Moffat, David Welch

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