Automakers of the old school should be envious of the inflated estimates of startups in the field of electric vehicles. At one point during the previous week, Rivian Automotive was worth the same as Ford Motor and General Motors combined.
Perhaps, there is a way for traditional automakers to overcome this valuation gap. In order to address such a problem, Barron Michael Berry of Scion Asset Management said that Ford and GM need to create inventory tracking for their next-generation vehicles, such as electric cars, robo-taxis, etc.
This will make it possible to track the financial performance of a particular business unit. The shareholders of the tracked shares have a financial interest only in the tracked division, and not in the entire business.
Let's put it this way: It costs several billion dollars to build a new electric vehicle manufacturing plant that could produce, for example, 500,000 electric vehicles a year together with batteries to power them. This is less than 1% of the market capitalization of Tesla (TESLA), but about 5% to 10% of the capitalization of Ford or GM.
Car manufacturers are too complex: many manufacturing plants perform several jobs for other factories in the network.
Nevertheless, inventory tracking is quite possible. For example, Liberty Media Formula One (FAN) tracks the financial performance of the Formula One racing series. Back in 1984, General Motors conducted the first inventory tracking for Electronic Data Systems, or EDS, Ross Perot.
How to estimate Ford or GM tracking stocks? The possibilities are tempting.
Like Rivian, Ford is launching an electric vehicle truck and is already selling the Mustang Mach E electric vehicle. If the company achieves its goals, Ford's electric vehicle business should be about four times larger than Rivian's by 2023.
GM is essentially the second largest electric vehicle manufacturer in the United States, after Tesla. The global volume of GM electric vehicles is about 300,000 units, taking into account the sales of GM joint ventures in China. Given that Lucid costs almost the same as GM and plans to sell approximately 20,000 units in 2022, the cost of GM's electric vehicle company could be several times higher than Lucid's.
If all electric car companies and electric car tracking stocks were valued like some electric car stocks, the auto industry's valuation could easily exceed $4 trillion.