The Bloomberg Billionaires Index has shown that Elon Musk, by far the world’s richest billionaire, increased his wealth by $33.8 billion to $304.2 billion on Monday. On the list, Jeff Bezos is ranked second with a fortune of $196 billion.
Tesla’s CEO, Musk, who owns about 18% of the company, helped precipitate the slide by saying he would reduce his stake by 10%. A plan to generate cash for tax obligations has seen him sell over $10 billion of shares since November.
The South African-born billionaire’s net worth, including his stake in SpaceX, reached a high of $340 billion in 2021, surpassing a previous peak reached by John D. Rockefeller and briefly becoming the richest person in modern history.
In the final months of last year, Tesla shattered production and delivery records, sending its shares soaring 13.5% on Monday. Over 308,000 vehicles were delivered to customers in the fourth quarter, sending the stock up as much as 10% in early trading.
The company announced the record sales figure on Sunday, capping a year in which it overcame bottlenecks and rapidly expanded production at a China plant to reach close to 1 million vehicles sold annually.
Its stock market value increased by one-third, to more than $1 trillion, in 2021, as investors grew more confident the carmaker was able to overcome its persistent growing pains while also achieving comfortable profit margins.
Tesla’s market value reached $1.2 trillion at the end of the New York trading day on Monday. According to FactSet, Tesla delivered about 40,000 more cars than Wall Street analysts had expected. This strong performance increased its deliveries for 2021 to 936,172, up from 499,550 the previous year.
Some automakers were affected by shortages of semiconductors last year, slowing production.
Zach Kirkhorn, Tesla’s chief financial officer, had earlier told investors in October that shortages prevented Tesla from running its plants at full capacity, and that its big jump in production in the first nine months of the year had been “exceptionally hard.”