By Josephine Mason
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Tesla's shares have more than doubled in value in the past three months, with a market capitalization of $ 100 billion Wednesday, a first for a listed American automaker.
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Toyota still holds pole position with a market capitalization of $ 233 billion.
Recent gains were fueled by surprise third quarter profit, progress in a new factory in China and better than expected car deliveries in the fourth quarter.
Many investors remain skeptical that Tesla can consistently generate profits, cash flow and growth.
But the gains highlight investors' growing confidence in the future of electric vehicles and Tesla's move from a niche automaker to a world leader in cleaner cars.
A glance at his results shows that he still has a long way to go before outshining larger rivals.
Based on estimates of 12-month forward sales, it doesn't even appear in the top 20 worldwide. The company's sales will reach $ 31 billion, or $ 276 billion from Toyota, $ 283 billion from VW and $ 191 billion from Daimler, according to data from Refinitiv.
GRAPHIC – Tesla overtakes VW: https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/13/1471/1446/tesla.png
(Reporting by Josephine Mason; additional reporting by Thyagaraju Adinarayan and Danilo Masoni; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)