II. When can we take Elon Musk’s promises seriously?

A number of my critics dislike it when I say Elon Musk or Tesla has “promised” something.

No, they say, Musk makes no promises. Rather, he is simply makes forecasts, and forecasts can be wrong.

Or, they say, Musk’s remarks are in the nature of a pep talk to rally the troops even though he knows (and presumably we should too) that his vision cannot be achieved within the time frame he indicates.

So, when can we rely on what Musk says?

This question of whether and when we can rely on statements from Tesla’s CEO came into particularly sharp focus with last week’s article, Tesla’s Model 3 Mess Has Become Much Messier.

Last May, when Tesla announced it was accelerating production of the Model 3 (and immediately raised $1.7 billion in equity on the heels of that announcement), Musk guided for production of 100,000 to 200,000 Model 3 cars in 2017.

Did he really mean it when he said it? Does he still mean it today?

Let’s all review exactly what Musk said during the May 4, 2016, conference call, understanding that, once we have finished reading, the question on the floor is:

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