After some negotiations, the hopeful EV brand bought the New United Motor Manufacturing (NUMMI) plant in Fremont, California. The facility was supposed to be used by GM and Toyota for producing next-gen vehicles that should've paired Japanese reliability with American ingenuity. Instead, it became Tesla's first serious establishment, and Toyota helped out by becoming a shareholder.
After the deal was done, Tesla piqued the interest of high-level investors like Daimler and Google's co-founders. They invested in it as well. In 2012, the Model S entered production. And that was just the beginning.
Back then, however, all kinds of execs and traders believed Tesla was just an experiment. Besides a couple of early adopters, Tesla really did not have much going for it.
Believe it or not, most analysts still didn't believe Tesla could make it. But here we are today – the now-Texas-based EV maker is the world's most valuable auto company and is one of the most important publicly traded entities.
Looking back, those who doubted, mocked, and gave Elon Musk's Tesla little to no chance of surviving in the conservative auto industry now categorize the American brand as a disruptor. The tide has turned.
Tesla is now present almost everywhere in the world, and it has five primary plants known as Gigafactories in the US (New York, Nevada, and Texas), Germany (Berlin), and China (Shanghai). The latter is the one pumping out EVs like there's no tomorrow.
On March 1, 2023, Tesla confirmed on Twitter (X) that it rolled off the assembly line the four millionth car. Fast forward to September 16, 2023, and the number of EVs leaving one of its five plants grew by one million.
The marque produced one million vehicles in 200 days, which amounts to 5,000 units every 24 hours or 3.4 cars per minute. That's a spectacular feat to achieve in a world where there's still instability on almost all levels of the global economy.
But Tesla's not done yet. The simplified build of the refreshed Model 3 brings forward renewed confidence that the brand will improve its already generous profit margins while also being able to manufacture even more cars.
Similarly, it is rumored that the upcoming Cybertruck has over two million reservations. On top of all that, the Semi could also become an important part of Tesla's core business.
Finally, add the CEO's strong belief in autonomous zero-tailpipe emission cars. That's what led to the creation of the Full Self-Driving suite (which is scheduled to receive a massive upgrade soon). Mix it all with the Supercharger network that attracted huge names like Ford and GM, which also adopted the marque's charging port, and anyone will be able to figure out that the future of this American automaker looks more promising than ever before.
Will Tesla find the 5 millionth vehicle it has made and make sure it's finished in the same Ultra Red paint as the 50,000th Supercharger stall? It remains to be seen.
Update. Tesla China says the 5 millionth EV the brand made is a 2024 Model 3 finished in white. It rolled off the factory line at Giga Shanghai. The confirmation was made on the Asian country's preferred social media platform Weibo.
Congrats Giga Shanghai on making millionth car! Total Teslas made now over 3M. pic.twitter.com/2Aee6slCuv— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 14, 2022
We produced our 4 millionth vehicle at Giga Texas today ? pic.twitter.com/YMxb4zX5WB— Tesla (@Tesla) March 1, 2023
This week, we produced our 5 millionth car—thank you Tesla owners for your ongoing support!— Tesla (@Tesla) September 16, 2023