Adding insult to injury, the stock market valuation of Tesla surpassed Ford and GM earlier this month, despite Ford and GM far outpacing Tesla in sales. Since April Fool's Day, Tesla's stock has breached $300 a share and continues to hover in that vicinity, causing a market capitalization of around $48 billion. Headline writers breathlessly proclaimed that Tesla is worth more than Ford. A few days later, another uptick in the stock market caused Tesla's market cap to briefly exceed that of General Motors.
2016 was another record-breaking year for the auto market, with U.S. shoppers buying 17.5 million cars, trucks and crossovers, just ahead of 2015's previous record. It was the seventh consecutive year of year-over-year sales gains. Automotive marketing reacted to the trend of consumer preference for trucks and SUVs, with the automakers going after those markets with a vengeance. Along with some in-your-face competitive ads, there was no shortage of poignant and sometimes hilarious advertisements, integrated campaigns, and smart social digital and social media strategies.