That 5 millionth vehicle, a white, updated Model 3 sedan, rolled off the line at 's Shanghai factory.

(Image credit: Tesla)

Tesla saw its 5 millionth vehicle roll off the production line, marking a major milestone in the history of the electric vehicle (EV) maker, which was founded in 2003.

That 5 millionth vehicle, a white, revamped Model 3 sedan, rolled off the line at Tesla Giga Shanghai, the US EV maker said on September 17 on Weibo.

It took Tesla 12 years to see its one millionth vehicle roll off the line, and just 18 months to produce its second millionth vehicle, according to the company.

It took Tesla a shorter 11 months to go from its 2 millionth to 3 millionth car off the line. It took seven months to go from 3 million to 4 million, and six months from the 4 millionth to the 5 millionth, it said.

Tesla's Shanghai factory, which began construction on January 7, 2019 and became operational at the end of 2019, is the first wholly foreign-owned automotive manufacturing project in China.

Giga Shanghai began delivering Model 3 sedans in January 2020 and Model Y crossovers in January 2021 to local consumers.

Giga Shanghai saw the one millionth production vehicle built here roll off the line on August 13, 2022, less than three years after production began at the plant. On September 6 of this year, the plant saw the 2 millionth vehicle it produced roll off the line.

On September 1, Tesla unexpectedly began pre-sales of the new Model 3 in China. Official sales of the model have yet to begin, with Tesla's Chinese website showing an expected delivery date in the fourth quarter.

The new Model 3 continues to be offered as a single-motor, rear-wheel-drive model in the entry version, but the previously available two-motor Performance version has been replaced by a dual-motor Long Range version.

Pre-sale prices for the entry-level new Model 3 in China start at RMB 259,900 ($35,730), which is RMB 28,000, or 12 percent, higher than the older model's starting price of RMB 231,900.

The dual-motor, all-wheel-drive, long-range version of the Model 3 starts at RMB 295,900 for pre-sales. For comparison, the dual-motor, all-wheel-drive performance version of the Model 3, which was previously on sale, has a starting price of RMB 331,900.

On September 12, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) released its latest catalog of models that will soon be allowed to be sold in China for public comment, and Tesla's new Model 3 was included.

The single-motor version of the new Model 3 is powered by a lithium iron phosphate battery with cells supplied by . The dual-motor version of the new Model 3 is powered by a ternary lithium-ion battery with a cell supplier of LG Energy Solution, according to the catalog.

Tesla sold 84,159 vehicles made at its Shanghai plant in August, including 64,694 in China and 19,465 for export, according to information released earlier this month by the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).

The Model Y SUV sold 51,117 units in China in August, and the Model 3 was at 13,577 units.

($1 = RMB 7.2749)

BYD takes 33.7% of China's NEV market share in Aug, Tesla 9%