Tesla Inc. has grown from Silicon Valley gadfly to the world’s second-largest automaker by market capitalization in the decade since its initial public offering. It’s been a roller-coaster ride for the electric-car maker’s shareholders, who have experienced dizzying swoons on the way to record highs thanks in part to self-inflicted crises. “There’s always a lot of drama with Tesla, but they have spurred the auto industry on to embrace electrification as key to the future of mobility,” said Tony Posawatz, the former leader of General Motors Co.’s Volt plug-in hybrid program, ex-CEO of Fisker and current director at Lucid Motors Inc. “Whether they are profitable or not, they have impacted the luxury auto market forever more.”
On June 29, 2010, Tesla made its debut as a public company — the first initial public offering of a domestic automaker in a half century. The IPO price was $17 a share. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk rang the Nasdaq opening bell, and the company’s lone electric car, the $109,000 Roadster, was on display in Times Square.