A quick Google search for “Elon Musk Promises” results in countless proclamations about cities on Mars, a nation-wide network of superchargers for its electric cars, and the end of EV range anxiety forever. And between Mr. Musk’s tweets, press conferences and shareholders meetings, he does a pretty good job of grabbing headlines — headlines announcing those promises, or delays on those promises, or even for first-quarter losses ($282 million this year).

But when Musk does deliver, the final product is so fantastic it seems to outshine any of the production problems that preceded it. The latest grandiose claim is that Tesla will meet its projected annual production of 500,000 cars annually in 2018 — two years earlier than originally anticipated.

And despite the mind-boggling first-quarter losses, historic delays on both the Tesla Model S and Model X — and even following the Model X recall announced earlier this week — Tesla stocks still rose 7 percent after the production-increase announcement. At 500,000 units, that would put Tesla squarely in the middle of boutique manufacturers like Ferrari and Lamborghini, who only make around 10,000 cars a year, and the bigger manufacturers who crank out cars in the millions, like GM or Volkswagen. So far, in 2016, Tesla has pumped out around 15,500, but hopes to hit 20,000 in the second quarter and 50,000 in the second half of the year. And sure, by that math, in a perfect world (or Elon Musk’s imagination) Tesla would be right on target to hit, or at least come close to, the 500,000 unit goal.

But here in the real world, where production can stall, recalls are a reality and economies tank, Musk may have shot himself in the foot. To be fair, the Space-X program eventually got off the ground (literally), we eventually got the Model S, we eventually got the Model X and we’ll eventually get the Model 3. So will Tesla hit the 500,000 mark by 2018? Our bet is a solid “probably not.” But maybe they will… eventually. If you’ve got an opinion (and want a chance to win a Gear Patrol Magazine subscription), let us know below.


See What Happens When Elon Musk Comes Through

When Tesla does deliver, the results are pretty great. Read the Story

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