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The turnabout shows the extent to which investors have bought into Mr Musk's vision that electric vehicles will eventually rule the road.

The Model 3 is the linchpin of Tesla's expansion plans, which includes launching new vehicles, selling a solar roof, and the ability to produce cars at an annual rate of 500,000 by the end of next year.

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) was upgraded by Piper Jaffray Companies from a "neutral" rating to an "overweight" rating in a report released on Monday.

"I think it is quite likely we will do a truck in the future", Musk said. "I admire Tesla and @elonmusk", wrote tech analyst Walt Mossberg on Twitter when the company overtook Ford in value earlier in April, "but this is the billionth example of why stock market valuations don't reflect reality". GM expects to earn more than $9bn this year and analysts predict Ford will generate adjusted profit of about $6.3bn.

None of that explains why Tesla is worth more than GM on paper. That honor goes to the Japanese titan Toyota, who has a stock market value of over $170 billion at the moment. Potter says that after recently "traveling with" people from Tesla's investor relations team, he is now "more convinced" that the automaker will bring the vehicle to market in 2017.

Previously, the Chinese newspaper Nanfang Daily reported citing its own sources that Tesla planned to build a new plant in southern China.

Still, none of those troubles have managed to slow Wall Street's love of Tesla, for now. "They could pass Honda, too", Morningstar Inc. analyst David Whiston told Bloomberg.

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One of the two Tesla Model 3 prototypes that our spy photographer snapped photos of a couple of days ago is back in a short video, showing it in action out on the highway. Tesla is also known for bleeding cash and hasn't really turned a major profit while GM is a profitable company that has survived even the worst of market conditions.

GM has fallen from grace before, of course.

They also point to opportunities from Tesla's acquisition past year of money-losing solar panel installer SolarCity and Tesla's Nevada battery cell plant aimed at driving down manufacturing costs.

Barclays Capital bumped up the target of Tesla Motors Inc (NDAQ:TSLA) to $165.00 indicating a possible downside of -0.45%.

By comparison, GM sold over 10 million cars and trucks worldwide previous year.

Tesla expects to begin production in July on the Model 3, a US$35,000-lower-cost (NZ$50,000) alternative to its Model S. The company took almost 400,000 reservations in the weeks following its unveiling. The model designed for mass production, is expected to sell for about $35,000, and is capable to overcome 215 miles per battery charge.