By Thomas BarrabiFOXBusiness
Embattled electric-car maker Tesla manufactured a record number of vehicles in its third quarter as it ramps up production to meet critical benchmarks, according to a report Monday.
Electrek, an electric vehicle blog, reported that Tesla churned out 80,000 vehicles, citing sources familiar with internal figures. That total reportedly included about 53,000 Model 3 vehicles – Tesla’s flagship sedan and the key to CEO Elon Musk’s efforts to achieve sustained profitability.
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment on its quarterly production numbers. The company is expected to announce production stats later this week.
Tesla scrambled to meet production goals even as Musk faced an SEC investigation related to his claim earlier this year that he had “funding secured” to take the company private. Facing securities fraud charges, Musk agreed to a settlement with the SEC last Saturday that requires him to pay a $20 million fine and step down as company chairman for a period of three years.
Musk will be allowed to remain CEO as part of the settlement. Tesla shares rose more than 17 percent in trading Monday on optimism related to the settlement.
Tesla has burned through cash in its bid to meet demand for Model 3 deliveries. However, company executives reiterated last August that they expect to achieve profitability by the end of 2018.