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After a humble start with the Lotus-based Roadster, Tesla Motors is now king of the hill of the full-size luxury segment in the U.S. From the standpoint of sales figures, the Model S sedan outperformed the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class in Q3.

9,156 units of the Model S. That’s how many full-size sedans Tesla sold in Q3 2016, representing a 59 percent improvement over the same period of 2015. This information comes courtesy of Bloomberg, which also notes that sales were almost double the figures of the second best in the list, the S-Class. More impressively, Model S sales account for circa third of the segment.

And yes, that also means that the Audi A8, Cadillac CT6, Lexus LS, Jaguar XJ, Porsche Panamera, and Maserati Quattroporte. When it comes down to the luxury SUV category, regardless of segment, the Tesla Model X has 6 percent of the sales pie. With 5,428 units sold in the third quarter of 2016, the Model X outsold models from Porsche and Range Rover. However, seven rivals manufactured by Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo sold better than the full-sized and Falcon Wing-doored pure electric crossover.

Despite these impressive results, Tesla still has a long way to go if it wants to duke it out like it means it with the big boys in the industry. Not only does the Palo Alto-based EV manufacturer need to expand capacity at its Fremont plant, but the Gigafactory also needs to become fully operational as soon as possible with the advent of the all-new Model 3. For all intents and purposes, the compact-sized Model 3 has all the chances to become the most successful product in the Tesla Motors lineup since the company set up shop in 2003.

With 373,000 pre-orders to its name, a lot rides on the shoulders of the compact-sized sedan. On that note, everything needs to go according to plan if Tesla wants to build those cars in due time. Otherwise, people will back out this pipedream and go for something readily available like the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt. Are Elon Musk and his little helpers going to make it? Let’s wait and see if his ambitions will also be mirrored by the heavily-anticipated Model 3.
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