By Josephine Mason
(Reuters) - Tesla Inc <TSLA.O> has overtaken Germany's Volkswagen <VOWG_p.DE> as the world's second most valuable carmaker behind Japan's Toyota <7203.T>, as the meteoric rise in the U.S. electric vehicle maker's shares reshuffles the global market.
Tesla's stock has more than doubled in value in the last three months, with its market capitalization piercing $100 billion on Wednesday, a first for a listed U.S. automaker.
During the rally, its value has leapfrogged more established global rivals: Honda <7267.T>, BMW <BMWG.DE>, General Motors <GM.N> and Daimler <DAIGn.DE>. On Wednesday, it eclipsed VW's $99.4 billion value.
Toyota still holds pole position with a market cap of $233 billion.
The recent gains have been fueled by a surprise third-quarter profit, progress at a new factory in China and better-than-expected car deliveries in the fourth quarter.
Many investors remain skeptical that Tesla can consistently deliver profit, cash flow and growth.
But the gains highlight growing confidence among investors about the future of electric vehicles and Tesla's shift from a niche car maker into a global leader in cleaner cars.
A glance at its results shows it has a long way to go before it can eclipse larger rivals.
Based on 12-month forward sales estimates, it doesn't even appear in the top 20 in the world. The company's sales will reach $31 billion, a slither of Toyota's $276 billion, VW's $283 billion and Daimler's $191 billion, according to Refinitiv data.
GRAPHIC - Tesla overtakes VW: https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/13/1471/1446/tesla.png
(Reporting by Josephine Mason; additional reporting by Thyagaraju Adinarayan and Danilo Masoni; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)