After years of optimism, Tesla CEO Elon Musk appears ready to confirm what critics have been suggesting for years: that the electric automaker has a problem. As delay compounded upon delay with regards to the Model 3, it was clear to everyone that the company’s 5,000 per week guidance will not be met in 2017.
On Wednesday, the company confessed that its production processes are not working properly and in the last three months of 2017. As a result of this “production hell,” as Musk puts it, the company failed to make good on its promises to both customers and investors.
Musk once promised that his company will be able to produce 20,000 vehicles in December alone. With the coming of the New Year, however, the actual numbers are in revealing that just 2,425 were produced, 1,550 of which were delivered to customers.
Of course, this is the first time that Musk has overpromised on his company’s ability to produce cars. Ever since going public, the company has had trouble in meeting its self-imposed deadlines.
The most famous of these concerns the self-driving car which Tesla promised back in 2015 was “only two years away.” Two years on and no such autonomous vehicle exists. To be fair, the company did sell vehicles with a feature called “autopilot” and have released constant updates to the software. However, it has yet to display the automated driving experience that the name implies.
As for the company that made that promise, it appears to be struggling with even the basic aspects of car manufacturing particularly for its mass market Model 3. It has gotten so bad that many are already confident that the company will be unable to meet its goals for the vehicle in 2018.
Musk has few options left with regards to saving his company and will soon have to make a brave call, a call that could cost him a lot. Whether it will be worth it, however, depends on how he will handle the fallout from breaking literally every promise he made.