On this day in auto history - July 3rd

Sat 3rd Jul 2021

It was on this day in 2003 that Tesla Motors was founded.

The California-based company took its name from the influential Croatian-born electro-engineer, Nikola Tesla, who was something of a hero to co-founders Martin Eberhard and Mark Trapanning.

Elon Musk also joined the board as its chairman and, as a major investor, quickly became the fledgling company's figurehead and product architect as it specialised in electric vehicles.

With the brilliantly-received Tesla Model S proving an early success story (second only to the Nissan Leaf as the most sold electric car in history), Tesla quickly embarked on impressive trajectory which has led to it becoming one of the most influential brands in the world.

Helped by a hugely successful stock market launch, significant Chinese investment, and varying forms of federal and state subsidies, Tesla briefly surpassed both Ford and General Motors as America's most valuable automaker in 2017, though production issues have slowed its growth since.