US carmaker Tesla has announced a new sales record for the first quarter of the year. The company managed to bounce back from production problems a year ago and secure fresh foreign investment.
Tesla said it shifted more than 25,000 cars in the first three months of the year, marking a new quarterly record and beating analysts' forecasts.
The Californian automaker sold 13,450 Model S units and 11,550 of the larger Model X, bouncing back by 69 percent from a rough first quarter a year ago.
The most recent sales figures put Tesla on track to meet its target of 50,000 units in the first half of 2017.
Its upcoming Model 3 is priced at a moderate $35,000 (32,800 euros) in the US, far below the price of its initial S and X cars. It was designed from the outset to be more efficient to make, a move intended to avoid production stumbles.
Battle for foreign market share
In January, Tesla started mass production of energy-saving batteries that it vowed would take electric cars mainstream.
A Gigafactory created by Tesla and Panasonic is cranking out lithium-ion battery cells to be used in energy storage products and the Model 3, the carmaker says on its website.
Toward the end of last month, China's Tencent Holdings bought a 5-percent stake in Tesla for $1.78 billion, providing the company with an additional cash cushion as it prepared to launch its Model 3 later this year.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk hopes his company's cars will find more buyers in China. So far, Tesla said it had very few Model 3 orders from the Asian nation, where the car had not been formally introduced.
hg/jd (AFP, Reuters)