Tesla Inc. made its first deliveries of cars built in China on Monday, marking another milestone for the electric-car company that saw its stock soar to record highs last week.

“Tesla will deliver the first China-made Model 3 at Gigafactory 3 plant in Shanghai TODAY,” the company said in a tweet. “The 15 customers who are slated to get their Model 3s first are Tesla employees.”

A delivery ceremony was held at the facility later in the day.

The Shanghai gigafactory is Tesla’s first outside the U.S., and is expected to significantly boost sales in China, which Tesla believes could become the largest market for its lower-priced Model 3 sedan. Tesla hopes to soon be producing 1,000 cars a week at the facility, eventually ramping up to an annual production of 150,000 vehicles a year.

On Thursday, Tesla

TSLA, -0.13%

  confirmed in an SEC filing that it has secured local loans of up to 9 billion yuan — roughly $1.3 billion — to help complete the gigafactory and an unsecured revolving loan facility of up to 2.25 billion yuan with local Chinese lenders.

Tesla shares have been on a tear since announcing in October a surprise third-quarter profit, surging 77% since then. Last week, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives raised his stock-price target by $100 to $370, projecting healthy growth ahead.

Shares closed Friday above $430, and are up 29% year to date, matching the S&P 500’s

SPX, +0.00%

  gain.

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2019-12-30