San Francisco: Creating history, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who had once decided to sell off Tesla owing to poor results, became the richest person on the planet, going past Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos on Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world’s 500 wealthiest people.
A 4.8 per cent rally in Tesla’s share price on Thursday took Musk past Bezos, with a net worth of $188.5 billion, 1.5 billion more than Bezos, who has held the top spot since October 2017.
Musk’s net worth increased by more than $150 billion this year and Tesla’s share price surged a massive 743 per cent last year.
He told Axel Springer in an interview last month that the key purpose of his wealth is to “accelerate humanity’s evolution into a spacefaring civilisation”.
The world’s 500 richest people added a record $1.8 trillion to their combined net worth last year, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Tesla delivered 499,550 vehicles in 2020, slightly missing its most recent guidance of 5,00,000 vehicles.
In the fourth quarter, Tesla delivered 1,61,650 Model 3 and Model Y cars and produced 1,63,660 such vehicles.
The automaker also delivered 18,920 Model S and X vehicles and produced 16,097 of them.
“In 2020, we produced and delivered half a million vehicles, in line with our most recent guidance. In addition, Model Y production in Shanghai has begun, with deliveries expected to begin shortly,” the company said in a statement last week.
The company achieved the feat despite closing its new factory in China as well as its vehicle plant in Fremont, California for several weeks as the new coronavirus spread.
Musk also tweeted: “So proud of the Tesla team for achieving this major milestone! At the start of Tesla, I thought we had (optimistically) a 10% chance of surviving at all”.
Tesla delivered 88,400 vehicles in Q1, and 90,650 vehicles in Q2.
In October, Tesla said it delivered 1,39,300 vehicles during the third quarter, slightly better than the 1,37,000 Wall Street had expected.
For the year, Tesla delivered 4,42,511 Model 3 and Model Y cars, while producing 4,54,932 of the vehicles. It delivered 57,039 Model S and Model X cars while producing 54,805 such vehicles.
Musk has proclaimed that he wants to increase Tesla’s vehicle sales volume from about 5,00,000 in 2020 to 20 million annually over the next decade.
Late last month, Musk told Tesla employees in an email to ‘go all out’ in order to achieve the 5 lakh vehicle delivery goal.