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MIKE BLAKE/Reuters

Tesla Inc said on Wednesday its deliveries rose less than 2% in the third quarter, missing Wall Street estimates and sending its shares down nearly 6% in trading after the bell.

Total deliveries came in at 97,000 units for the quarter, below analysts’ estimates of 97,477 vehicles, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The California-based electric car company led by billionaire Elon Musk is under pressure to increase production and prove that there is sustainable demand for its vehicles, as well as show it can make a profit, even as traditional luxury car makers begin to roll out their own electric models.

Recently introduced all-electric SUVs from Audi and Jaguar Land Rover have challenged the company’s S and X models, deliveries of which fell 1.4% to 17,400 from the second quarter and came below analysts’ estimates of 18,829 vehicles.

Although third-quarter deliveries of 79,600 Model 3 sedans beat estimates of 79,470, the pace of growth was just 2.6% from the previous quarter.

Tesla said its orders in the third quarter exceeded deliveries and that it was therefore entering the fourth quarter with a backlog. The company has forecast deliveries of 360,000 to 400,000 vehicles for 2019. Based on Reuters calculations, this would mean that Tesla wold need to deliver more than 100,000 vehicles in its final quarter of the year.

The Model 3 is the linchpin of Tesla’s growth strategy and Musk is under pressure to deliver the vehicle to new international markets efficiently, while guarding working capital.

As the company strives to improve margins and post profit for the second half of 2019, Musk has been trying to cut spending.

Musk had previously said that Tesla aims to be profitable in the fourth quarter, with the third quarter to be break-even. The company said it was focusing less on profit and more on volume growth, capacity expansion and cash generation.

Under pressure to meet his repeated promises to make Tesla sustainably profitable, Musk is trying to contain costs while still spending on major initiatives from a Shanghai factory and assembly-line to upcoming models such as the Model Y SUV and a Semi commercial truck.

Separately, Tesla announced that it had entered into a facility agreement valued at about $700 million to finance vehicles in-transit to China.

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