Tesla Inc. doesn’t yet make a profit peddling its electric cars, and its sales are a tiny fraction of those tallied by its Detroit rivals. But that’s not the point to investors keen to divine the future of the auto industry and bet on it.

Their belief in Chairman Elon Musk’s vision for an electrified automotive future is powering Tesla’s market capitalization past much-larger Ford Motor Co. to make the Silicon Valley start-up the second most valued American automaker.

At the market close Wednesday, investors valued Tesla’s outstanding shares at $49.53 billion, slightly behind General Motors Co.’s $51.34 billion. The market capitalization of Ford totals $45.19 billion — a harsh reminder that investors believe profitability today is no guarantee of growth in the future.

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How Long Until Tesla Overtakes GM As The Most Valued US Automaker?

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