19. October 2019 by Zachary Shahan
One year ago this week, I published a story of 8 "impossible" goals that Tesla had achieved. The idea actually came from a simple joke I sent Elon Musk. I thought it was so funny (joke something, send it to Elon Musk more), that it inspired a full article. In fact, it and a few other pieces inspired an entire "Tesla flashbacks" series. The fact is that on any given day there are various "concerns" about Tesla's future from Tesla card sellers and other people who benefit if Tesla fails, but when you look back on them after a year or more, it's clear that they typically was nonsense it didn't guarantee a minute of anyone's time.
Nevertheless, there is no doubt that Tesla has achieved some very unexpected successes. One of my favorite songs of all time is "The Impossible Dream" sung by Roberta Flack. Although the dream referred to in that song is different, it makes me think of Tesla. The company that survived long enough to build a car was an early "impossible dream" that came true, but the dreams did not end there. When the first Roadster rolled off the line, Tesla had much bigger plans in store. They were so ambitious that they were ridiculous. For sure, Tesla couldn't achieve them.
1. Produce Model S before the end of 2012. A certain car journalist (who is now super bull at Tesla) Elon Musk in 2009 insisted that Tesla could not roll a production model S from the line before the end of 2012.
Whoops. I did not intend to choose this journalist, since it was widely accepted that Tesla could not achieve it. The journalist was the norm rather than the exception, and Elon seemed to be facing impossible odds. However, as we should all know by now, Elon won the bet, Model S began to make it into customer hands in mid-2012. (Elon donated $ 1 million to charity anyway, that's what he promised to do if he lost bet.) No doubt, but the task could not have been simple, as no car manufacturer has so far produced an electric car that fully competes with the Model S from 2012.
 2. Sell more than a few thousand Model S sedans in the United States. Apart from being skeptical that Tesla could even produce a single Model S, it was conventional wisdom in the automotive industry that there was no way in Dante's inferno that more than a few thousand people a year would buy a Tesla Model S. Summarizing the intelligent skepticism, widely respected analysis company IHS stated:
“It is possible to sell a few thousand of anything in this country, only at news value. IHS Automotive estimates that if Tesla can get the car to market, it will probably sell at least a few thousand.
“But the idea that Tesla can sell tens of thousands of Model S sedans in the United States is foolish. The most popular vehicles in that segment sell only a few tens of thousands themselves, with some models – Audi A6, Jaguar XF, Lexus GS – well under 10,000 sales a year. ”
Whoops. As it turned out, Tesla had no problems selling tens of thousands of S-sedans a year, crushing competitors in the large luxury car market. In 2018, for example, the Tesla Model S accounted for about 37% of the large sales of luxury cars.
3.48% CAGR from 2013 to 2020. Tesla had bold dreams back in 2011, 2012, 2013. Well, bold was one way to define them – completely unrealistic was another. Since Tesla [TSLA] had a price of $ 121, Bank Of America's Tesla analysis team had a $ 39 price target on the stock. The idea that Tesla could meet its growth goals was just plain absurd. The company summed up, "We estimate that a share price of $ 120 will translate into over 321K vehicle sales by 2020, which is 300,000 units higher than our current 2013e and would represent a 7-year CAGR of 48%." Bank of America did not consider it realistic in the least, hence the target price of $ 39.
A consistent Tesla critic on Business Insider added to the burning criticism: another carmaker ever. "(Hasn't been done = can't be done. That's what non-dreamers teach you.)
Whoops. Not only has Tesla shattered its 7-year growth forecast, but Bank of America's $ 39 TSLA price target was sad. Not to worry, however, Bank of America has a new depressing pessimistic forecast for Tesla. After all, one of these years, Tesla sales will have to collapse. (Don't want to?)
4. Get a Tesla Model S to automatically change lanes by touching a turn signal (in 2015). It may seem like a simple, everyday feature for a Tesla now – the car could change lanes on its own – but back in 2014 it was widely considered impossible. OK, maybe cars would be able to do that in 2020, but certainly not until then. A prominent car journalist was so confident in the conventional wisdom that in 2014 he wrote: “If the Autopilot automatically switches lanes by touching a flashing stalk, for example, one year from now … I will publicly eat a Tesla baseball hat on Twitter , Facebook and YouTube. "Good that he and others knew everything about Tesla's boundaries and the fact that this was definitely not not . Otherwise, he had to grind up a disgusting, dry baseball hat.
Whoops. In October 2014, Tesla had a large public event where journalists, early Model S owners and other Tesla guests got to experience the first version of Tesla Autopilot. The cars could actually change lanes with owners who just had to put on turn signals. Shockingly, the critic over did not eat a hat, Tesla branded or otherwise.
I'm sure he didn't have much faith that Tesla rolled out Smart Summon either, but at least this time he made no effort where to eat a hat was on the table.
5. Mass production of Tesla Model X. One of the most famous "impossible dreams" of Elon Musk and Tesla was the dream of mass-producing Tesla Model X, falcon doors. and everything, which everyone knows is just a technical impossibility. Again, there is no need to designate a critic here since this was a widely believed fact as early as 2016 and in advance, but it is probably true that Bob Lutz had the most prominent and straightforward expert comment on this vehicle. "The Model X seems to be uninhabitable with the automatic doorways, which everyone in the industry always said they were not going to work," he noted. In fact, everyone in the industry knew it. They knew it was either an unrealistic dream, a total drawback or something in between.
Whoops. Perhaps if the critics knew the difference between gull wings and falcon wings, they would have got this right. Alas, their claims that Tesla could never produce Model X proved to be unwise and inaccurate. Tesla produces tens of thousands of these SUVs a year.
6. Now high volume production of Tesla Model 3. Model S and Model X were not the only vehicles Tesla could not produce. The somewhat affordable Model 3 was also on the list. Tesla had produced tens of thousands of Model S and X vehicles, but there was no way the company could ever produce hundreds of thousands of Model 3s a year. Everyone knew that. That goal was simply insane. Next to that insanity was the fraudulent idea that Tesla could sell a Model 3 for under $ 40,000. Haha, what a joke with a promise.
Whoops. It turns out that Tesla could mass produce the Tesla Model 3, and could offer a below $ 40,000 Model 3 to middle-income buyers looking for such a car. 
7. Tesla Gigafactory 3. Pfff – you're kidding. Tesla's statements about so quickly building a gigafactory in China had to be scams, lies, smoke and mirrors and unicorn flatulence. There was no chance of Tesla reaching its goals. The stated timeline and forecasts were so demonstrably false that they must have been criminals. In addition, Tesla would crash and burn, probably filing for bankruptcy, before a single car manufactured in China could roll out to customers.
Whoops. Not only was Gigafactory 3 built at a shockingly fast pace, but it also showed that Tesla critics who get the story wrong over and over again don't have a problem doubling down and increasing skepticism in the face of real facts.  Do you remember when @lopezlinette was so pissed that Tesla would not be able to meet or even exceed the expectations @elonmusk set for Gigafactory 3? ¯_ (ツ) _ / ¯ https://t.co/wy8D72TbJy pic.twitter.com/AIGedZofW0
– Viv 🕸 (@flcnhvy) July 16, 2019
downturn. Maybe next time.
Do you have any more impossible goals Tesla couldn't achieve? Do you have more ideas for things that our Tesla vehicles can't do?
If you want to buy a Tesla Model 3 and want 1000 miles of free Supercharging, feel free to use my referral code: https: //ts.la/zachary63404 – or use someone else's if you have a friend or family member with a Tesla. I'm not crying.
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