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.
This development comes at a critical time as the company is struggling to boost production of its first mainstream model, the Model 3.
The company has asked for an undisclosed rebate on money it has spent on suppliers since 2016. "It would not be correct to apply historical cost savings to current quarter", Musk tweeted.
"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.
In June, Tesla said it was cutting several thousand jobs to become sustainably profitable without endangering the ramp-up of Model 3 production.
Despite the belt-tightening, many analysts still predict Tesla will eventually need to raise more money.
The tech giant has been chasing profitability in recent months, after Musk promised the company would reach that target by the third or fourth quarter this year.
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This strategy is part of a plan announced a year ago where Tesla was able to negotiate longer payment terms to about 60 days for Model 3 parts, which would allow the auto maker to make the vehicle and get paid for it before the bill is due to suppliers.
In the memo, which was obtained by The Wall Street Journal, Tesla called the move a routine practice of working with suppliers.
"I have never heard of that", Harbour said.
Tesla shares have fallen sharply after it was revealed the electric carmaker is seeking refunds from some suppliers.
Tesla intends to stretch that goal to 10,000 per week.
Tesla shares pared losses and were down 2.7 percent at $305.01. The company also has taken $1,000 deposits for Model 3 orders to help fund development and manufacturing, which established carmakers don't have to do.