The world witnessed how quickly Tesla took market leadership on electric vehicle sales.
But now, steadily, its success in selling high-end EVs also is moving it into the top tier of U.S. luxury brands, regardless of powertrain.
Based on market data released last week by Experian, Tesla has passed Mercedes-Benz for the No. 3 spot in U.S. luxury-vehicle registrations this year through September.
Luxury leader BMW and Lexus remain firmly in the market's No. 1 and No. 2 positions, respectively. But Tesla has been narrowing the gap with those leaders, too.
The EV pioneer appears to have enough momentum to catch up with Lexus and possibly BMW before the year is over.