New York (AFP)

Investors have dismissed a new alert issued by the US office in charge of transportation safety, the NTSB, which sharply criticized the group on Monday for ignoring its recommendations on its driver assistance system .

The share of Elon Musk's group rose to $ 998.74 during the session before falling back a little, but was still up about 9.4% around 6:00 p.m. GMT.

By exceeding the symbolic threshold of 1,000 billion dollars, the company joins Apple, Microsoft, Google and Amazon in the club of the richest companies on the stock market.

This outbreak also consolidates the position of the richest man in the world for Elon Musk, who according to the firm Factset, has about 17% of the shares of the company.

The stock had already climbed after the release of earnings last week for the automaker, which again saw record third-quarter sales and profits, despite supply issues and semiconductor shortages affecting the entire market. automotive industry.

It took off again Monday after the announcement of an order for 100,000 vehicles by the end of 2022 by Hertz.

"Extraordinary" growth

For the boss of the car rental company, Mark Fields, the latter "have become consumer products".

Hertz is betting heavily on this new strategy, even hiring American football star Tom Brady to promote it.

With the Tesla, electric cars should represent more than 20% of its fleet.

"An order of this magnitude (...) highlights the gradual adoption of electric vehicles in the United States," notes analyst Dan Ives of Wedbush.

The country seems to be catching up with China and Europe, he says.

"Tesla is showing the way but other manufacturers like Lucid Motors, GM, Ford or Faraday Future are in a hurry to grab shares of a market which could be worth 5,000 billion dollars in the next decade", underlines the analyst.

Elon Musk's group is keeping one step ahead for now.

Not only is the growth of its turnover in a difficult context for the automotive sector is "extraordinary", say analysts at Morgan Stanley.

But the company is also one of the most profitable in the sector.

It will soon expand its production capacities by adding to its factories in Fremont, California and Sahnghai in China, two new sites, in Texas and Berlin.

Driving assistance

Tesla will also be able to rely more and more on ancillary activities, such as its network of charging stations, its automobile insurance or its autonomous driving software, add analysts from Morgan Stanley.

Tesla charging stations on August 13, 2021 in Arlington, on the east coast of the United States ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS AFP / Archives

On this last point, regulators do not always look favorably on the group's progress, like the letter sent Monday by the NTSB to Elon Musk.

The agency criticizes him for never having explained how he intended to implement the recommendations issued after an accident in 2016 even though he is currently experimenting with new features in real conditions, and says he is "very worried".

In addition to the Autopilot system already offered on its cars, Tesla has been testing since early October a new version of its driving assistance system, nicknamed Full Self Driving Beta (or FSD Beta), with a group of drivers selected by him, without having previously referred to the competent authorities.

"You have said that + safety is always the priority in the design of a Tesla +", underlines the letter.

"This statement is completely undermined by the announcement that Tesla drivers can apply to use FSD Beta both on highways and in urban areas when you have not remedied the design flaws" behind several accidents, it is added.

The NTSB notably recommended to Tesla, as well as to five other car manufacturers, to incorporate tools in their driving assistance systems limiting their use to the conditions for which they are intended.

It also recommended developing applications to determine the moments when the driver is no longer sufficiently attentive.

Only Tesla never responded, regrets the NTSB.

© 2021 AFP

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