Plant closures and other challenges didn’t keep Tesla’s Chinese factory from crossing a key milestone. As Electreknotes, company chief Elon Musk has revealed that Gigafactory Shanghai recently produced its millionth car. As mentioned earlier in August, Musk noted that Tesla has made a total of 3 million electric vehicles to date.

The facility has quickly become a cornerstone of Tesla’s manufacturing strategy. It started production in late 2019, but ramped up to the point where it became the largest EV factory on the planet. Its annual production rate topped 800,000 by the end of 2021, making it crucial to Tesla’s record-setting year. Gigafactory Shanghai is now the company’s main export hub, delivering cars to Europe and other key markets in addition to China.

The Shanghai factory is gradually becoming just one piece in a larger puzzle. The newly opened Gigafactories in Berlin and Texas will drive at least some near-term growth, and Tesla is exploring the potential for factories in places like Canada. For now, though, the Chinese plant will be vital to meeting ever-higher production goals and competing with international EV makers.