San Francisco -Tesla posted a surge in deliveries of electric cars that could prove pivotal to earning an elusive profit and overcoming a series of distracting missteps by CEO Elon Musk. The company handed over 83,500 vehicles in the third quarter, doubling its total in the previous three months. Of those deliveries, 55,840 were Model 3 sedans, in the range of what Tesla forecast as it finally started to mass-manufacture the sedan. The share price was 1% down at 10am on Tuesday in New York. The results could prove to be a watershed for Musk, who jeopardised his future with Tesla during the quarter by claiming prematurely he had the funding and investor support to take the car maker private. He settled fraud charges brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission last week by agreeing to pay $20m and step down as chairman. The agency initially sought to bar him from serving as an officer or director, which could have overshadowed progress the company has made in manufacturing mo...

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