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SAN FRANCISCO, July 2 (Reuters) - Tesla Inc delivered a record number of electric vehicles in the second quarter, beating Wall Street expectations and sending shares up 8% after hours on Tuesday as the news allayed concerns about demand.
Tesla delivered 77,550 Model 3s in the quarter, compared with analysts' average estimate of 73,144, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Deliveries of all models rose 51% from the first quarter to 95,200 vehicles, including 17,650 Model S and X. Analysts on average were expecting total deliveries of 89,084.
Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has repeatedly said Tesla could deliver a record number of cars in the second quarter, beating the 90,700 it sent to customers in the final quarter of last year. Tuesdays numbers helped take the sting off a difficult first quarter, in which deliveries plunged and the company lost $702 million.
That fraught quarter hurt by logistics issues at Tesla's international ports and a drop-off in U.S. orders after a tax credit was halved spurred questions over the viability of sustained demand for Tesla's vehicles and pushed back a promise of profit for the rest of the year.
Brushing aside those concerns on Thursday, Tesla said that orders during the second quarter exceeded deliveries. That was despite the fact that the $7,500 U.S. federal tax credit was cut in half at the end of last year.
"We believe we are well positioned to continue growing total production and deliveries in Q3," the company said in a statement.
The delivery numbers included 10,600 vehicles that had been in transit at the end of the first quarter.
A big challenge for Tesla has been how to deliver its vehicles efficiently and swiftly to customers around the world. An improved system for logistics helped in the second quarter, Tesla said, without providing more detail.
In prior quarters, Tesla has diverted employees from all parts of the company to help with deliveries in an all-hands-on-deck effort to meet delivery goals.
Earlier this year, Tesla said it would turn a profit in the second half of 2019, later than earlier projections. The company has pledged to deliver 360,000 to 400,000 vehicles in 2019, a goal many analysts predict will be difficult to meet.
Overall, total production rose 13% to 87,048 vehicles compared with the first quarter. The company churned out 72,531 Model 3s in the second quarter, up from a total of 62,950 Model 3s in the preceding quarter.
Tesla said that going forward, it would no longer disclose how many vehicles were in transit at the end of each quarter due to production changes that made the number less relevant. At the end of the second quarter, over 7,400 vehicles were in transit.
(Reporting by Alexandria Sage in San Francisco and Munsif Vengattil and Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta, Lisa Shumaker and Cynthia Osterman)