Tesla has surprised investors by posting profits for its third quarter and delivering a record number of cars in the period.
Shares in the electric carmaker were 20% higher in after-hours trading in New York – recovering much of the 23% decline seen in the year to date – when the numbers were published.
The statement showed profits of £ 143 m for the July to September quarter.
It had posted losses of £ 1.1bn during the first half of the year.
Analysts had expected the loss-making trend to continue.
Tesla revealed that a record 97, 000 vehicles were delivered over the three months and its under-fire chief executive, Elon Musk, reiterated a pledge that the company was on track to deliver a total of 360, 000 cars across 2019 as a whole.
That means Tesla must sell approximately 105, 000 cars in the final three months of the year to meet its goal.
Musk has placed an emphasis on boosting production this year while also getting to grips with costs as the auto sector battles falling demand amid a global economic slowdown blamed on the effects of the US-China trade war.
It has cut jobs as investors demand a focus on profitability in a market gripped by intensifying competition as mainstream carmakers adjust to an electric future.
Tesla has lost more than $ 5.5bn since its 2010 flotation and is on track to record another year of losses in 2019 despite the third quarter profit.
One analyst looked beyond the cheer around the latest numbers to suggest that sales and profitability faced a squeeze because competitors were catching up and able to take advantage of US tax incentives that were now being phased out for Tesla.
David Kudla, chief investment strategist for Mainstay Capital Management, said: “We have passed peak Tesla, it has already seen its best d ays, “he predicted.