In a significant turn of events, Elon Musk, the chief executive officer of Tesla Inc., has surged ahead of luxury tycoon Bernard Arnault on Wednesday, as shares of Arnault’s LVMH fell by 2.6% during Paris trading. This development has resulted in Musk overtaking Arnault in the race for the top spot in the prestigious Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which ranks the wealthiest 500 individuals worldwide.
This year, Musk and the 74-year-old Frenchman have been engaged in a neck-and-neck competition for the coveted title. Back in December, Arnault had initially surpassed Musk, benefitting from the resilience of the luxury sector in the face of inflation, while the tech industry struggled. Arnault, who founded LVMH, boasts ownership of renowned brands such as Louis Vuitton, Fendi, and Hennessy.
However, the faith in the buoyancy of the luxury sector has begun to wane, given the mounting signs of slowing economic growth, especially in China, a critical market. LVMH shares have experienced a downturn of around 10% since April, causing a loss of $11 billion from Arnault’s net worth in a single day.
Meanwhile, Musk has been enjoying a remarkable ascent this year, with his fortune growing by over $55.3 billion. This impressive gain can be attributed primarily to the success of Tesla, the Austin-based automaker, which accounts for 71% of Musk’s total wealth. Tesla’s stock has rallied by 66% year-to-date. As a result, Musk’s fortune is currently valued at approximately $192.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, surpassing Arnault’s net worth of about $186.6 billion.
This milestone achievement marks a significant shift in the global billionaire landscape, highlighting the exceptional growth and influence of the electric vehicle industry, spearheaded by Elon Musk and Tesla.