Tesla was the top-selling U.S. luxury brand in the third quarter. Unless it was No. 2 — or maybe No. 3. We don't know because Tesla doesn't disclose a geographical breakdown of its global sales. And the bigger that Tesla has become, the more estimates of its sales have varied, making it even harder to assess the company's performance.
In the third quarter, analysts' best guesses ranged from a few thousand above Mercedes-Benz, good enough for third place in the closely watched luxury race, to more than 10,000 vehicles ahead of Lexus, comfortably in first. At the rate it has been growing, Tesla could win its first luxury crown with a big fourth quarter, more confirmation of its status as an unstoppable industry force. Not that we'll know for sure either way.