Porsche has built 500,000 Cayennes since the SUV's introduction in 2002.

The Porsche Cayenne was a little controversial, to say the least, when it first launched in 2002, but the SUV has gone on to become a rousing success, with the German automaker recording its 500,000th Cayenne sale.

Until the Cayenne's launch in the early 2000s, Porsche had exclusively produced high-end sports cars, causing many to question the automaker's decision to launch a big SUV. However, the Cayenne is now far and away Porsche's best-selling model, accounting for half of the automaker's global sales.

"We started with around 70 units a day," said Dr. Oliver Blume, Member of the Executive Board Production and Logistics of Porsche. "Today we produce five times as much owing to the high market demand. In the past year alone, over 83,000 Cayenne vehicles for customers in more than 125 countries have rolled off the assembly line. A genuine success story of the Porsche plant in Saxony."

The 500,000th Cayenne, a white S Diesel model, is scheduled to be handed over to its new owner later today at a small ceremony at the SUV's Leipzig plant in the German state of Saxony. As with every Cayenne delivered at the factory, the owner of the milestone vehicle will be able to take it out for a test run on Porsche's FIA-certified circuit and off-road course.

Porsche says about 2,500 buyers opt to pick up their Cayenne from the factory every year.