The company delivered 83,500 vehicles during the third quarter, a strong performance that should calm investor fears about logistical problems and a looming cash crunch. That included almost 56,000 of the lower-priced Model 3.
Production was a bit below that number: Tesla said it built about 53,000 Model 3s. But that was within the company’s projections.
Tesla was sorely in need of good news.
Tesla will release revenue and profit numbers later in the quarter. The report did not give details on where those figures would come in. It did say that all Model 3s sold at the end of the quarter were the more expensive all-wheel-drive models, powered by dual electric motors.
Musk also sent an email to all Tesla employees over the weekend saying that the company was close to its goal of being profitable.
“We are very close to achieving profitability and proving the naysayers wrong, but, to be certain, we must execute really well tomorrow (Sunday),” he wrote, referring to the last day of the quarter. “If we go all out tomorrow, we will achieve an epic victory beyond all expectations.”
The company has reported only two quarters of modest profits in its 10-year history. It has reported a total of $6 billion in losses during that time.
Tesla has $1.2 billion in debt maturing within the next six months, which has prompted some analysts to project the company would need to sell additional shares or debt to raise cash.
“Sorry, we’ve gone from production hell to delivery logistics hell,” Musk tweeted two weeks ago to a customer who inquired when a promised car would be delivered. “This problem is far more tractable,” he added. “We’re making rapid progress.”