I think we're more or less on the same page here. I agree that if they renege on their mission of producing an affordable EV themselves, that they have failed, and have "sold out".LeftieBiker wrote: I'm not trying to discredit Tesla, affect stock prices, or even just take pot shots at them. I really wanted them to succeed. But if one of the main points of their mission statement turns out to be hogwash (and yes, it DOES matter if they produce an affordable Tesla soon, since that has been one of their selling points to investors, the government, the public...) then their image loses some of its sheen. I'm not satisfied with choosing to believe that someday, maybe far in the future, they will make affordable mass market cars.
I don't think they promised an affordable car to investors on a particular schedule though. On the contrary, investors should be pleased that they are taking a relatively fiscally mature approach of building up to the affordable model, rather than releasing the car before it's time and at a loss which might be devastating to the company's financials (I define investors as LONG investors, of course!) The only way the delay would be unattractive to investors is if there was reasonable competition in the $35K price range. And there really isn't (although as I said, the Kona EV might actually be such a car).
And they definitely didn't promise the government anything, unless I'm missing something (you'll have to expound on what you mean here).
The public? Maybe. Certainly those that put a deposit down expecting a $35K car by this time. Personally, I didn't expect a $45K car by this time. I had timed my wife's lease to end around the time I expected ANY Model 3 to be delivered to me (much less the base model), and "unfortunately" they far exceeded that, switching up my plans. Sure, Elon did make set some bold goals, which unsurprisingly were not met (Elon time, after all). I do feel for those who honestly thought they would see a $35K car by now.