Tesla announced on September 17, 2023 that, during the week, it produced its five millionth electric car.
The milestone comes about 20 years after the company was started in 2003 and 15 years after the first car (the original Roadster) was produced and delivered in 2008.
The first millionth car was produced in March 2020, which means that it took 12 years of production. The second million cars were produced within 18 months, the third within 11 months, and the fourth in seven months. Let’s note that the cumulative level of 4,000,000 units was announced on March 1, 2023, just over six months ago.
Tesla is the largest all-electric car manufacturer in the world and its current production rate is gradually approaching two million units per year.
If the current rate remains stable or further increases (which is more likely), we should see the 6th millionth Tesla in early 2024.
According to Tesla’s Weibo account in China (see an image below), the jubilee car happened to be the new Tesla Model 3 Highland in Pearl White, produced at the Tesla Giga Shanghai factory.
This is Tesla’s largest manufacturing site (and the largest EV factory in the world), which earlier this month produced its two millionth electric car.
Considering how big the automotive industry is, Tesla still has to expand several times to reach 10 million units annually and match the largest automotive groups. This might take several years, assuming the target growth rate of 50 percent year-over-year (if achieved).
Here is Tesla’s production progress over the past several years, up to the record second quarter of 2023:
We don’t have the data for the third quarter yet, but we can already imagine the next bar on the chart below at around 5 million units.
The next big thing for Tesla might be related to the Tesla Cybertruck, although until the next-generation EVs are ready, the main product is expected to still be the Tesla Model Y.