Credit where it is due, Tesla has come a long way in the last 12 years. To get from the first Tesla Roadster in 2008 to the millionth car—this bright red Model Y Performance—has been a strange and sometimes beautiful journey. There hasn’t been a new car manufacturer, especially one with a sedan-heavy lineup, to find this kind of success in a really long time.
And it’s just so funny that the millionth car from this company rolled out of that dumbass assembly line in a tent.
I’ve never personally bet against Tesla, but Elon Musk is a total weirdo with a god complex. Then again, when Ford was only 12 years old, it was also run by a total weirdo with a god complex, and they turned out okay. An interesting factoid here is that Ford started production of the Model T in 1908 and the one millionth Ford left the assembly line in 1915, just 7 years later. By 1927 Ford had built 15 million Model Ts. Can Tesla ramp up production like that? Will the streets be overflowing with NUMMI-built EVs by 2030? Time will tell.
The automotive industry is in a state of flux, and there’s no way of knowing whether Ford or Tesla will still be around in another 100 years, but the legacy of Tesla will always be that it spurred an electric car revolution and lost a whole lot of cash in the process.
For now we can all collectively revel in the fact that this 2020 Model Y Performance, the millionth Tesla, the one that Elon Musk is so fatherly proud of, has a horrendous hood shut line. Based on the equipment that can be seen on the car, like its 21-inch wheels (indicative of the Performance Upgrade pack), this is at least a $US62,990 ($96,930) car. If you’re going to do a big PR thing like announce your 1,000,000th car with a photo of said car on Twitter, maybe make sure the QC is dialed in before you do. Just a thought.
All of that said, it’s great that the Model Y is finally being built, and will finally be delivered to all of those long-waiting customers.
All of this is possible because Tesla has massively ramped up production in the last couple of years with the introduction of the less expensive Model 3 in late 2017. As recently as the end of that year, the company had only produced 301,322 cars. The end of 2018 saw a cumulative production number of 555,852 cars. Building nearly half a million cars across the 2019 calendar year and the first quarter of 2020 is a feat that should not be taken lightly.
If the company can keep this kind of pace, grow its international footprint, build new factories, keep its employees safe, keep turnover to a minimum, and refine the production process, and do it all without running out of capital, Tesla will be around for a long time.