Tesla is known for innovation and the ever-growing ambitions of its CEO, Elon Musk. Though it is facing some serious challenges meeting those ambitions, it hardly has any impact on its car sales. The company saw a 59% jump in Model S sales over the last year, helping it increase its already-sizable lead among large luxury cars.

Tesla
Image Source: Bloomberg

Updated models helping Tesla

Tesla usually keeps sales data confidential, but this information is based on internal third-quarter sales numbers and competitor data that the automaker has compiled, reports Bloomberg. A third of all sales in the segment are now credited to Tesla. The newly updated BMW 7 Series and the Mercedes-Benz S Class are the closest competitors.

Tesla sold 5,428 units of its new Model X in the U.S., accounting for 6% of the luxury SUV market in the third quarter. This is its best performance yet as its rollout was delayed because of production issues. Sales of the Model X exceeded those of Porsches and Land Rovers but were fewer than those of seven SUV models from competitors like Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Lexus, Mercedes and Volvo, notes Bloomberg.

Releasing updated models significantly helped both Tesla and BMW. The EV firm released a refreshed version of the Model S with a facelift in April and also made available a few new battery options in the following months, which boosted sales. Later the company released a less expensive version with 75 kWh battery pack software limited to 60 kWh and the new P100D version at the higher-end for a ludicrous acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds.

Rising production and selling rate

Musk intends to achieve a profitable quarter, and for this reason, he is pushing employees to make the most sales. Now the EV firm is making and selling cars at a rate of about 100,000 units annually. This represents a 5x increase in capacity over a three-year period, notes Electrek.

Tesla is now aiming at another 5x increase so that within the first year of Model 3 production, it can produce 500,000 vehicles per year. Musk said Model 3 production will start in late 2017, and he expects to achieve production rate in 2018. With the Model 3, the EV firm is hoping to have a similar impact on the mid-size luxury sedan market that it commands over the large luxury sedan market with its Model S.

On Wednesday, Tesla shares closed up 0.7% at $201.51. Year to date, the stock is down more than 15%, while in the last year, it is down almost 9%.