Electric milestones: Tesla builds millionth car

Published: 10 March 2020

► Tesla builds its millionth car
► It's a red Model Y EV
► What milestone means for Tesla

Tesla has passed an important milestone as its one millionth production car rolled off the Freemont production line in California.

The red Model Y electric car was pictured by founder Elon Musk on his prolific Twitter feed, along with a picture of the production staff who built it.

It's the fifth production model in Tesla's range and is days away from going on general sale in the US, following on from the original Roadster, the Model S, Model X and Model 3 saloon.

CAR magazine lives with a Tesla Model S: our long-term test

The millionth Tesla: a red Model Y

It's been a rocky road since Tesla started Model S production in 2012, and there have been many who predicted the start-up's demise as it struggled to meet demand, master supply chains and get the quality right. Some still forecast that Tesla will struggle as it matures, with huge R&D investments necessary to replace its large cars, yet the business remains one of the most valuable car makers in the globe right now.

So far Tesla has produced all its larger electric cars in the Californian factory, and the new Shanghai plant in China is gearing up to churn out capacity of 150,000 Model 3s and Model Ys annually.

Tesla is also preparing to launch a European factory in Berlin, Germany. After many years of wayward production claims, it looks like the company might soon have the capacity to meet demand for its progressive electric cars, just as the zeitgeist ushers EVs into the mainstream.

Perhaps it won't be too long before Musk's EV pioneers are announcing the two millionth Tesla... Let us know if you agree in the comments below.

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By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet