Tesla's recent stock market surges placed Elon Musk's company above some of the car industry's veterans, including General Motors and Ford. Though its reign as the highest valued automaker in the United States was relatively short-lived, the momentary victory was a clear sign of Tesla's current place in the industry, and Musk has boasted that it was also a sign of even better times ahead.
In a letter sent to its German automation subsidiary, Tesla Grohmann, a copy of which was obtained by Fred Lambert at Electrek, Musk explained to the somewhat disgruntled employees why the raise they were asking for wasn't better than the stock he was offering:
Unlike other automotive manufacturers, each Tesla employee receives Tesla shares in addition to salary. These shares can be easily sold for money, but they also open up the possibility of earning much more through stock appreciation. The tenfold increase in our share price over the past five years has made shareholding exceptionally profitable for our Tesla employees. I firmly believe that we have the potential for a further ten-fold increase over the next five to ten years. That would make a total value of € 100,000 from the € 10,000 in stock.
If his calculations were to come true, Tesla's current valuation could grow to about $500 billion, which could make Musk the richest man in the world thanks to his 22 percent share.
While some have criticized Tesla as being overvalued, Musk's optimism seems grounded in both experience and confidence in his company's products. Tesla's no stranger to criticism, and naysayers have been barking at Musk since its formation. However, if the past five years are any indication, Tesla has a knack for proving critics wrong.
Tesla has grown to be more than just an automaker. The company's current product line includes its Powerwall and its recently launched new solar roof tiles. As for new products, the Model 3 electric vehicle is at the top of the list.
"After the Model 3, many other vehicle products will come, for which Tesla Grohmann will play a key role," Musk wrote in his letter. "To name just a few, which have already publicly announced (there will be many more): We are developing Model Y (an affordable mid-range SUV), a heavy-duty semi-trailer, a pickup and the next generation of the roadster sports car.”
How ever the situation with Tesla Grohmann plays out, the next five years should confirm whether Musk or Tesla's critics are right in their predictions about the company's future.