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Tesla vs. GM, Interesting Finds


I know that that Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is a very high end electric car but I thought it would be interesting to look a GM (NYSE:GM) and Tesla side by side. General Motors has a market cap of 48.5 billion and Tesla has a market cap of $20 billion. It is reported be Zero Hedge that Tesla has double the market cap of Fiat but still trails Volkswagen (OTC: VLKAF), Ford (NYSE:F), GM, and Porsche (OTC: POAHY).

General Motors is a strong solid company with good revenue streams and positive earnings, it is trading 1.85 times book value and is one of the top selling brands of cars.  Tesla is a start up with lots of potential, currently it does not have any positive earnings. Lets look at a side by comparison of the two:


General Motors

Market Cap

$ 19.7 Billion

$ 48.5 Billion

2012 Revenues

$ 413.3 Million

$ 152.3 Billion

2012 Earnings

($207.3 Million)

$ 1.7 Billion




The side by side comparison is shocking to me. The market values GM 2.46 times Tesla, but GM has revenues that are 368 times that of Tesla. Wow! This really blows my mind. So why do we give this company such a high valuation?  The answer is, the market is expecting electric cars to be the future of the auto industry.

Currently Tesla creates high end vehicles. Tesla’s strategy is to create an electric car that is powerful, hip, and cool. The have accomplished this, then the next step is to make a cheaper consumer car that would compete with Toyota and GM. The idea being that once they made a name for themselves in the high end market, everyone would want to buy their cheaper consumer car.  We have yet to see the cheaper consumer car but the market is already pricing this in.

The question all investors need to answer now is whether the valuation is too high given that the company has not yet proven their revenue strategy.