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Tesla hits best quarterly sales figure yet

Increased production means Tesla is one step closer to achieving its goals for this year.

2016 Tesla Model S 60
Emme Hall/Roadshow

Tesla has hundreds of thousands of Model 3 preorders waiting in the wings, but without a show of solid production numbers, many are still wary of its ability to deliver on all its promises. After releasing its Q3 2016 figures, the company is getting closer to putting the public at ease.

The automaker delivered approximately 24,500 vehicles in the third quarter, which is a record for the California-based company. That's roughly 10,000 more vehicles than last quarter. Approximately 65 percent of those deliveries were Model S sedans, with the rest being Model X SUVs.

Bear in mind, those are just deliveries -- cars that have made it to the customer's hands. Some 5,500 vehicles are still awaiting delivery. Total production for Q3 is 25,185 vehicles, an increase of 37 percent from Q2. Tesla expects Q4 to be at or slightly above the bar set in the third quarter.

This should help assuage investors' concerns ahead of a new fundraising push, which Tesla will use to bolster Model 3 production, which should begin late next year. With more than 300,000 preorders waiting to be fulfilled, investors and the media alike have questioned whether or not the automaker will make good on its goal of producing 500,000 cars each year by 2018. We're still a ways off, clearly, but it's making progress.

The sales bump also comes on the heels of some reports of discounting at Tesla's retail outlets. Despite wanting retail outlets to make a real push to maximize third-quarter deliveries, CEO Elon Musk reminded employees via email that the company does not offer discounts on its vehicles -- the price you see is the price you get. It's one of the cornerstones of its business, which helps set it apart from the current franchised dealer model, where haggling is basically a given.

Tesla introduced two new vehicles in the third quarter. The 60-kWh Model S was introduced in June as a more cost efficient way to get into a new Tesla. On the other end of the spectrum, the company rolled out a 100-kWh battery with the best performance and range figures yet.

Keep in mind, these are just sales figures. The full breadth of its third-quarter financials, which will no longer include non-GAAP revenue, will be revealed in November.

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