Tesla Motors accelerated production of its pivotal Model 3 sedan during the summer just as CEO Elon Musk promised, vindicating the electric vehicle maker's leader amid a backdrop of baffling behavior that jeopardized his job.
Automotive news website Electrek reported that Tesla had produced 53,000 of its Model 3 sedans in the third quarter, up from 28,578 in the previous three months and making good on a promise in August it would produce 50,000 to 55,000 of the cars.
Tesla has said it will deliver about 100,000 Model S and X vehicles in 2018.
In addition, Tesla continues to lack access to cash incentives available to locally produced electric vehicles in China that are typically around 15% of MSRP or more.
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Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) announced record quarterly vehicle production numbers on Tuesday but warned of major problems with selling cars in China due to new tariffs that would force it to accelerate investment in its factory in Shanghai. Since then the company has been striving to sustain and increase that level. Musk and Tesla will each pay a $20 million fine. The agency initially sought to bar him from serving as an officer or director, a pursuit that would have overshadowed the progress the company has made in manufacturing more vehicles.
Tesla founder Elon Musk is telling his employees to work hard on the last day of the quarter to prove "the naysayers wrong".
The company said on Tuesday it missed its production target of 6,000 Model 3s by 700 cars in the final week of September and outlined hurdles it faced due to the worsening of President Donald Trump's trade war with China. "If we go all out tomorrow, we will achieve an epic victory beyond all expectations".
Tesla announced Tuesday that it delivered 55,843 Model 3s between July and September, confirming reports that the company's mass-market electric is the fifth bestselling vehicle model in the United States. Musk has pledged that Tesla would record profits and positive free cash flow in the third and fourth quarters this year.
The numbers initially lifted Tesla shares but they fell later as investors anxious about the company's warning that a 40-percent tariff on Chinese imports of its cars was blocking sales in the world's biggest electric vehicle market. "Should be solved shortly".