Under Elon Musk, Tesla Has Disrupted the Auto Industry. What’s Next?

 Under Elon Musk, Tesla Has Disrupted the Auto Industry. What’s Next?

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO since 2008

Photo Illustration by Hayley Warnham; Reference: Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images

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In the past year, Elon Musk has declared himself Technoking of


and Imperator of Mars. Under his guidance, Tesla has bought and sold Bitcoin. It also began accepting Bitcoin as payment, and then stopped doing so. Tesla’s CEO has run into more trouble with the SEC over his tweeting habits, too.

Tesla stock, however, is up more than 200% in the past 12 months, making the company the world’s most valuable auto maker. What’s more, Musk’s space-exploration and technology company, SpaceX, is now the fifth most valuable aerospace and defense franchise in the world. SpaceX’s value has increased as the company delivers more astronauts to the International Space Station and more of its Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit. SpaceX plans to offer space-based high-speed internet across the globe.

Tesla and Musk, 50, have their critics. More than 25% of analysts covering the stock rate it Sell. The average Sell ratio in the

S&P 500

index is about 7%. Still, the average analyst price target for Tesla stock is up about 360% over the past year. Even the bears seem willing to admit that Tesla is disrupting the auto industry and is worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Musk is the main reason for that.

Write to Al Root at allen.root@dowjones.com

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