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Tesla's Q3 electric car deliveries set another record

Whether or not it's turning a profit is another story.
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Roberto Baldwin/Engadget

Tesla's record-setting second quarter deliveries weren't a fluke, it seems. The EV builder has broken the record again with its initial delivery estimates for the third quarter, with about 97,000 cars reaching customers over the summer. That's not a huge leap over the 95,356 EVs delivered in Q2, but it's a stark contrast to the sharp drop-off at the start of 2019. There's at least some sustained interest, then.

And crucially, these are newcomers adding to Tesla's ranks. Much like in Q2, "nearly all" of the 79,600 Model 3s delivered in the period went to customers who didn't hold a reservation. That's a sign of "strong organic demand," if you ask Tesla.

Not everything is rosy. Model S and X deliveries were down ever so slightly to 17,400. And remember, these are deliveries, not earnings. Q2's record deliveries helped Tesla narrow its losses, but it didn't avoid those losses. Although the company has turned a profit before, it's lately been struggling to overcome its costs. There's also the matter of continuing the streak. Shrinking US subsidies have made it more expensive to buy a Tesla, and competition is looming in the Porsche Taycan and more accessible EVs like VW's ID lineup. In a sense, Tesla is racing to snap up buyers before some of them are lost to competitors.

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