In a press release on Sunday, Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) said it had delivered 24,500 vehicles in the third quarter of this year, making it the biggest quarter for sales since the company was founded. This is a 70% increase in sales from last quarter, and slightly more than double the deliveries made in the same quarter last year.
In Q3, production rose by 37% from the last quarter to reach 25,185 vehicles. In addition to the 15,800 Model S cars and 8,700 Model X cars that had already reached customers by the end of the quarter, another 5,500 vehicles were in transit and will be counted as deliveries in Q4. Production and deliveries in Q4 is expected to be the same or slightly above Q3 numbers.
Last quarter, Tesla missed its delivery guidance of 17,000 by almost 3,000 vehicles.The jump in deliveries in Q3 is good news for the company as it looks to convince investors and begin producing the more-affordable Model 3 cars. In an email to employees on August 29, Musk emphasized how important it was to trim costs and ramp up production in the third quarter. He wrote, "It would be awesome to throw a pie in the face of all the naysayers on Wall Street who keep insisting that Tesla will always be a money-loser!" (See also, Four Lawsuits Filed Against Tesla SolarCity merger)
The controversial SolarCity (SCTY) merger, the lack of positive cash flow and a fatal accident that involved a Tesla in autopilot mode, were all cause for investors to be concerned. Analysts expect Q3 2016 to be the first quarter in which Tesla reports a profit. The company recently released a big Autopilot software update to make self-driving safer and another update after Chinese hackers were able to take control of a Model S. (See also, Tesla's Autopilot Software Gets an Update)
Tesla says it still expects to produce 50,000 cars in the second half of 2016. Also, mentioned in the statement were changes coming to the quarterly financial releases. "Starting in Q3, our quarterly financial releases will no longer include non-GAAP revenue and related financial metrics resulting from vehicles leased through our banking partners or that include resale value guarantees. We will, however, continue to provide additional supplemental information to investors to provide insights into our business," it said.
The stock is up almost 4% in pre-market trading and closed higher at $204.03 on Friday.