Elon Musk’s electric-car maker has outmaneuvered the competition at every turn, revving up a massive market capitalization (nearly $60 billion) despite having built relatively few cars and annual sales that are a fraction of the revenues of old-line automakers GM and Ford. Tesla’s innovations to date have included new ways of selling (no dealerships), groundbreaking technology (autopilot self-driving capabilities), and even financing (persuading customers to make deposits far in advance of delivery). Auto giants from Detroit and beyond are beefing up their electric and autonomous muscles—a clear sign that they are trying to play catch-up to Tesla’s outsize innovation.
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