A record jump for for Tesla shares this week saw it overtake Ford as the number 2 auto manufacturer in the US. Tesla shares skyrocketed on Monday and the continued growth overtook Ford on Tuesday. Shares were traded as high as $304.81 and it closed at its highest ever at $303.70, up 1.7% on Tuesday, following Monday's 7.3% gain. The recent gains for Tesla stock saw the company's market cap around $49.5 billion on Tuesday, in comparison to Ford's $44.4 billion. GM is still the country's number 1 auto manufacturer by market capitalization, which is sitting at $51.3 billion. The surge in Tesla's stock came after Sunday reported preliminary first quarter deliveries that were on the higher end of analysts' expectations. The market took it as a positive sign and that the company is on track to launch the Model 3, the company's first mass-market sedan that is scheduled to be delivered in the second half of this year.
The Model 3 is the company's segway into the mass market, moving away from their traditional luxury style branded cars. The company expansion plans include producing the Model 3 at a rate of 500,000 units annually by the end of 2018. Current pre-orders for the Model 3 sit at over 400,000 reservations for the mass produced sedan. Tesla's discontinuation of the cheaper 60 kWh Model S version is likely to put a greater pricing gap in between the high-end Model S sedan and the mid-ranged Model 3, says analysts. Tesla's Model X deliveries were up 22% from fourth quarter numbers, it represents Tesla has fixed many issues relating to manufacturing problems. Production problems for the Model X, the second car developed and made by Tesla, was a huge issue for Tesla stocks since the SUV launched in September 2015, behind schedule. Tesla's stock has seen substantial gains this year at over 40% so far, which in comparison with gains of 5% for the S&P 500 index. In the past three months, the company has gained 33%, to the benchmark's 4% gain in the same period. Last year, Tesla delivered less than 80,000 cars, in comparison Ford, sold 6.7 million vehicles.