At the end of October 2021, the world witnessed - for the first time in history - the presence of a man walking on two legs and eating food, whose fortune exceeded 300 billion dollars.
This 50-year-old Elon Musk fortune is about 100 billion more than his closest competitor in second place, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, whose fortune is close to $200 billion.
These numbers say, in short, that we now have half a trillion dollars in the possession of just two men.
Although Musk has ranked first in the list of the world's rich people almost since the beginning of this year, the arrival of his wealth to this unprecedented extent happened thanks to his company, "Tesla" for electric cars, whose shares rose significantly after concluding a deal to sell 100,000 of its electric cars. One payment to car rental company Hertz for a hefty sum, the company's largest ever vehicle purchase since its founding.
What many do not know is that this "Tesla", which made Musk's fortune quickly jump to become the richest man in history, was one of his most dramatic companies from the moment of its founding, and that it was itself almost the cause of his bankruptcy one day.
In love with the Serbian inventor
The famous Serbian inventor, electrician and physicist Nikola Tesla
In the summer of 2003, engineers Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning came together to found Tesla Motors in San Carlos, California. The company was named after the famous Serbian inventor, electrician and physicist, Nikola Tesla, best known for his major discoveries in electrical engineering. Celebrating scientists and engineers in recent decades.
The company set out with a specific goal: to develop and produce a car that relies entirely on electric power.
In fact, the prototype of this idea was based on test experiments for General Motors that it worked on in one of its auto development programs in the late 1990s, and although these models were not introduced to the market for consumers due to many problems and flaws, the principles on which they were based were sound from Engineering, and this was the starting point for both Eberhard and Tarpenning.
Several months after the launch of the company that had prototypes and blueprints for its business, the goal was to get good seed funding that would enable it to actually start its operations.
Here appeared entrepreneur Elon Musk, who led a Series A investment round for the company with a value of 7.5 million dollars, of which 6.5 million dollars belonged to Musk himself, who had received a large sum of more than 100 million dollars from selling his stake in Bay Company. PayPal for digital payments.
This funding allowed Elon Musk to control the course of affairs in the small start-up company, after he became the largest owner of its shares and Chairman of the Board of Directors, to become the map of the small "Tesla" represented by Martin Eberhard as CEO (CEO), and Mark Tarpenning as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), and later joined Ian Wright as the third founder, then Jeffrey Strobel as chief technology officer (CTO), while Musk's role was to chair the company's board of directors.
Announced secret plan
In 2006, Elon Musk published a blog post titled "Tesla Motor Company's Secret Grand Plan (Just Me and You)", in which he declared that Tesla's primary strategy is to accelerate production of electric-powered vehicles to replace traditional fossil-fuel vehicles, and that The direct goal of the company - at that time - was to launch its first sports car "Roadster", beginning to develop other cars later. (4)
In the same year, Elon Musk was able to attract a new investment round of Category (B) to "Tesla", worth 13 million dollars, followed in the same year with a new round of financing worth 40 million dollars that he managed to attract from the founders of "Google", so that the value of the company began to increase. A noticeable increase with its continuous work on making the first roadster model that it places its bets on.
At the end of 2007, Zev Drori was appointed CEO of the company with the aim of fine-tuning the final stages of the launch of the first Tesla car.
Indeed, the first fully electric Tesla Roadster sports car was unveiled in February 2008, and the keys to the first car were handed over to Elon Musk.
It was an astonishing achievement for Tesla that no other company had attempted to produce an electric car before.
The first version of the Tesla Roadster electric sports car
The first copy was very promising, despite its high price, as it sold at a price of 109 thousand dollars.
But it was not without problems, as charging the car battery required between 24-48 hours, which represented the main challenge for Tesla compared to filling cars with fuel, which takes only several seconds.
However, the success of the car, its speed and efficiency in its first version allowed the continuity of its production for several subsequent years until 2012, when 2450 cars were sold.
Hopes, dreams and plans were in the sky, a promising company, engineers and executives at the highest level, and ambitious financing programs for further development plans, but these hopes met the worst possible nightmare with the advent of October 2008. (2, 3)
"At the time, I spent the last of my money on Tesla from selling my PayPal stake. I didn't even have a house or anything else to sell at the time."
(Elon Musk commenting on Tesla's situation in the wake of the global financial crisis)
Following the global financial crisis at the end of 2008, Elon Musk assumed the position of CEO of the company, becoming fully responsible for managing it himself.
After taking office, Musk decided to reduce the workforce and employees in the company by 25%, and announced the postponement of the launch of the new Tesla car model "Model S." It is the “darkest hour” his company has ever experienced.
Although the celebration of the launch of its first car was less than a year ago, the following months were difficult for Tesla, as it no longer has more than 10 million dollars, a number that is not enough to meet its production plans for this car.
At that time, the second rescue came by Daimler, which gave Tesla $ 50 million in exchange for 10% of the company’s shares, and a partnership contract between the two parties to develop electric batteries, and then finally Tesla obtained a large loan from the US Department of Energy worth 465 million dollar.
These funds were enough to restore market confidence in "Tesla" and save the company from a certain collapse, and confidence increased further with Musk's announcement of prototypes for the first version of the "Model S" sedan at a conference in the first quarter of 2009, reviewing its advantages as a family car, not a sports car. Which made it secure the early reservation of 1,000 units by the enthusiastic public.
Bigger than just a car company
In 2010, Tesla was made available for an initial public offering (IPO) at $17 a share, raising about $226 million, and strengthening its position further to completely outlive its stumble during the global financial crisis.
In 2011, Tesla unveiled its luxury electric sedan "Model S", which is the company's first step in the personal and family car market, away from sports cars.
The new car was so well received by users, that Tesla focused entirely on its production in 2012, and stopped the production line of its first sports roadster.
Tesla Model S
With the start of supercharging stations for Tesla car batteries opening in various cities in California, and then expanding to the rest of the US states, the company announced its first profit in the first quarter of 2013. The following year, the company began building its huge factory in Nevada to manufacture batteries. Fully electric, which is the most important component of the car - and the most expensive as well - which contributed significantly to increasing production and reducing car prices, and thus the expansion of potential customers.
In 2015, "Tesla" announced its program for self-driving (Autopilot) in its vehicles, coinciding with the announcement of the manufacture of two new cars, the first is the Tesla "Model X", which is an evolution of the "Model S", and the second is the "Model 3". Which is the first economic car from "Tesla" for the general market, and produces a large production and covers the middle segments of customers.
Tesla Model X
Later, the company announced its entry into the solar energy market by launching a line of products to supply homes and factories with solar energy, which made it change its brand in 2017 from Tesla Motors to Tesla Inc, transforming from an electric car maker to A comprehensive multi-industry energy company.
The road to a trillion
In February 2018, the world witnessed one of Tesla's biggest publicity campaigns, as SpaceX, of which Elon Musk is also CEO, launched the Falcon Heavy rocket to SpaceX, carrying Musk's personal "Red Roadster" Tesla, and inside it is a doll wearing an alien outfit on its way to the orbit of Mars.
With the advent of 2019, Elon Musk unveiled one of Tesla's biggest products, the "Cybertruck" steel truck, with its strange design and great features, which has been described as a truck from the future.
By the end of 2019, despite some problems with the company's management staff, Tesla's stock had soared to a closing cap of $418.
As for the year 2020, represented the huge leap for "Tesla", with the company's profits increasing, until the stock for the first time reached a closing ceiling of $900.
Cybertruck steel truck
On the twenty-fifth of October 2021, Tesla's stock rose for the first time in its history, exceeding the highest closing level it had reached before, which was $909 per share, to reach $1,028 per share, an increase of more than 13%, thus raising the market value. For the company above the trillion dollar level for the first time, “Tesla” becomes the latest to join the club of companies worth more than one trillion dollars, and also the fastest, as it took about 18 years since its founding to reach this value, and 11 years since it became a public company, while it took Google, for example. About 21 years to reach.
The reason for the surge was the announcement of a major contract for the company, a deal with car rental solutions company Hertz to supply 100,000 Model S electric cars worth $4.2 billion.
This number is huge if we know that the number of cars produced by “Tesla” in 2020 is 500,000 cars, which means that this contract is equivalent to approximately one fifth of the total cars produced by “Tesla” last year, and is also considered the largest purchase of electric cars ever.
Of course, this deal allowed a huge increase in Musk's wealth, exceeding the $ 300 billion barrier, to establish his position as the richest person on earth, surpassing Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who occupied this position for a relatively long time, and to fulfill the prophecy of Musk himself, who told Forbes newspaper. Once that he would give Bezos, his traditional rival, the silver medal soon, and he would get the gold medal.
"When Henry Ford first made a cheap, realistic car, people protested, 'What's wrong with horses?' It was a big bet on the future that Ford made, and he won."
With Tesla's quarterly revenue increasing for the third quarter of 2021 to reach $13.8 billion, up 57% from a year ago, customer and investor confidence in the company has grown, even as the global supply chain crisis has not significantly affected the company's business.
This year, it is expected to deliver about 900,000 cars, of which nearly a quarter of a million units were delivered during the third quarter of this year - the largest number of units delivered in a similar period ever - from its factories in California and China.
And by next year 2022, with the completion of the construction of the "Tesla" plant in Germany and the announcement of the start of its vehicle manufacturing operations in the European market, as well as the approaching production in the American Texas plant, it is expected that "Tesla" will increase its production by more than 50% by 2022, With plans to deliver at least 1.3 million cars this year.
These encouraging numbers are, of course, still much lower than the numbers of car companies that use fossil fuels, such as Volkswagen, which produces nearly 10 million cars annually, Toyota, which produces about 7 million, and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, which produces 6.8 million cars.
However, according to Musk's long-term plan, he is working to increase sales annually by 50% to reach a production of 20 million cars.
Although Tesla now produces only 1% of the total number of cars globally, its value exceeding the trillion dollar barrier makes it equal to the total market value of the nine largest car manufacturers around the world combined, including giants such as Toyota and Volkswagen. Fagen".
The reason for this is that the company's value derives from the market's vision of the inevitable increase in the adoption of electric cars in the future as an alternative to conventional cars.
In the end, it is obvious that the question arises about the fate of the hundreds of billions owned by Musk, especially with the statements of David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Program of the United Nations, when he said that only 2% of Musk's wealth is enough to save 42 million people from starvation.
This statement by the UN official raises the question about the enormous wealth owned by a few individuals around the world, led by Musk.
My plan is to use the money to get humanity to Mars and preserve the light of consciousness
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2021
But Musk's only response, as of this writing, was in a tweet in which he stated his intentions to use his fortune, saying, "My plan is to use this money to move humanity to Mars and maintain a light of consciousness!"
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