Elon Musk makes a lot of promises. Like a ridiculous amount. And many of them have no substance behind them. Just like my Hinged dates always "promise" they had a great time.
However, tomorrow we get to evaluate the most important promise that the Bond Villian has made to date.
The electric car maker's first mass production vehicle has fallen short of ambitious production targets.After missing two previous production goals, Musk has told investors the company will be making 5,000 Model 3s per week by about this time of year.
He originally promised Tesla (TSLA) would be building 5,000 Model 3s per week by the end of 2017. The company made 800 in the final week of the year.
Then he scaled back the promise, saying Tesla would be making 2,500 a week by the end of the first quarter, on its way to building 5,000 a week by the end of June. It fell short of that target as well, building 2,020 in the seven days before its April 3 report on production levels.
And some may be asking, "What makes this promise different from any of the other ones this silicon valley 'visionary' throws out in hopes that they'll stick?"
Well, a lot more than just Tesla production is being tested here. This time it's a litmus test for Elon Musk as a leader and these are the two main reasons this promise means much more than any other ones.
1) People are getting sick of Elon Musk not following through with promises and the fallout that comes with it. Elon wants to prove he's trustworthy.
If you head over to the Elon Musk tracker, you can clearly see that he does follow through on some of his promises. However, out of all the projects that have been completed between Boring Co., Tesla, and SpaceX, 23 out of 59 have been completed on time. That means he's missing the target completion date 42.37% of the time which would be great if he was one of those lanky NBA white guys who only shoots corner threes and plays mediocre defense. However, he isn't Mike Dunleavy. He is the CEO of one of the hottest companies in the world. A world where finishing projects late earn you a reputation. And although failure to meet deadlines has contributed to his reputation, his reaction to criticisms of his failure may be equally, if not more, instrumental in the development of his thorny persona. Musk started out as tech's golden boy, but since he has gotten into fights with the media, gotten in plenty twitter debates, and even had a spat with an artist about the use of a drawing. And immediately after these twitter debates, his cronies come in like a bunch of bandwagons Golden State Warrior fans and scream at you over the internet, when in all reality, they are more afraid than a kid in a clown factory and the yelling is their only mechanism to cope with their incredible dumb decision to invest their graduation money in Tesla at $300 a share.
2) Elon has waged war on his short sellers, and many are speculating that he's pumping up stock numbers.
Twitter debates are one thing, but another thing Elon reacts to is Tesla share price. Whenever the price goes down at all, he seems to tweet or issue some kind of statement to LITERALLY EVERY EMPLOYEE IN THE COMPANY about a problem. And these newsbreaks have a tendency to send the stock back up to 3% growth on the day. Oh an if wasn't clear enough that he's doing this to spite short-sellers, he has no issue calling them out on twitter and letting them know when the exact date is that their position is going to explode.
“They are in for a rude awakening :)” the chief executive officer wrote in the email Tuesday. He shared a link to a CNBC story that reported Goldman expected the company to deliver 22,000 Model 3s in the three months ending in June, short of what analyst David Tamberrino said was a consensus of 28,000.
Many people think this is insider trading, others think it's just a tech douchecanoe peacocking because he has no other options at this point. Regardless, both are very reasonable explanations.
So is Elon gonna pull it off?
There is definitely some chance. Musk took measures to add a temporary production line under a tent and has been sleeping under his desk for the past 3 days.
On a chair next to him was a white caseless pillow that he used while sleeping on the floor under his desk. The billionaire CEO and chairman of the electric-car maker wasn’t far from two general assembly lines making the Model 3 sedan, surrounded by the sound of banging metal.
Outside, under a giant makeshift tent, workers were also building sedans on a third, hastily constructed line.
His head is clearly in the game at this point, but just like Chris Paul making it to the Western Conference Finals, it may be too little, too late.
Tesla is not producing enough Model 3s per shift to reach the 5,000 per week target that Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said it would reach by Saturday, three line workers at the company’s Fremont, California, assembly plant told Reuters this week.
The company was able to assemble and paint 210 Model 3s during the first of two 12-hour shifts on Wednesday, one worker told Reuters. On one of two Monday shifts, the company produced 305 of the vehicles, another worker told Reuters. The number of vehicles assembled per shift is displayed for line workers in the plant.
The company is running two 12-hour shifts per day every day this week on the Model 3, the two workers who provided the production figures said. If the company produces 300 Model 3 vehicles during all 14 shifts, it would produce 4,200 cars for the week.
To meet production numbers and explode the short positions, Elon will need nothing short of a miracle.
Or maybe he'll just tweet about. Who knows anymore?
Tesla races to fulfill its Model 3 promise [CNNMoney]
The Future According to Elon Musk [Bloomberg]