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Tesla’s Crazy Quarter Ends With Model 3 Guessing Game

How many cars were made and delivered? Here are the best estimates from Bloomberg, Wall Street and elsewhere.

Electrc vehicles stands on display inside a Tesla Inc. store in Bern, Switzerland.

Electrc vehicles stands on display inside a Tesla Inc. store in Bern, Switzerland.

Photographer: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg
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It’s been a wild quarter, even by Tesla Inc.’s whirlwind standards. As the drama over Elon Musk’s failed plan to take the company private culminated in an SEC settlement that limits Musk’s control, Tesla’s all-electric Model 3 has quietly climbed the ranks of the best-selling cars in the U.S. The focus has subtly shifted from how many cars Tesla can produce to how many it can deliver—and at what cost. 

The quarter concluded on Sunday, and Tesla is expected to report its production and delivery figures for the last three months early this week. Tesla has repeatedly fallen short of its own manufacturing targets, putting its balance sheet in mortal peril. In this past quarter, however, Musk vowed to reach a turning point and finally demonstrate that Tesla can be profitable. It would be, he told employees over the weekend, an “epic victory beyond all expectations.”