We asked fewer than 10 suppliers for a reduction in total capex project spend for long-term projects that began in 2016 but are still not complete, and any changes with these suppliers would improve our future cash flows, but not impact our ability to achieve profitability in Q3.
With Tesla doing everything in its power to make Musk's promise of a profitable quarter a reality, a new report from The Wall Street Journal relays that Tesla in recent weeks has been asking select suppliers to return portions of previous cash payments as a pseudo-price reduction of sorts.
The memo, which the paper said was sent by a global supply manager, described the request as essential to Tesla's continued operation and characterized it as an investment in the auto company to continue the long-term growth between both players.
Tesla is due to report second-quarter earnings after the stock market closes on August 1.
It's not so unusual for carmakers to ask suppliers for discounts retroactively, and some Japanese automakers have done it before, said Tatsuo Yoshida, an analyst at Sawakami Asset Management Inc.in Tokyo, who worked at Nissan Motor Co. between 1983 and 1999.
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The company has asked for an undisclosed rebate on money it has spent on suppliers since 2016.
In a Tweet, CEO Elon Musk said the company would need three to six months of full production of the mass-market Model 3 to become profitable enough that it could afford to bring the long-promised $35,000 base Model 3 to market.
"It's troubling", David Whiston, an analyst with Morningstar in Chicago, said in an interview on Monday as Tesla's stock declined, closing off 3.3 percent.
Tesla did not respond to a series of emails and phone calls seeking comment.
Instead, he has told investors that he expects the firm to turn a profit in the third quarter of this year.
The race to get the Model 3 going may have added unexpected costs in the second quarter.