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.
The electric vehicle company declined to comment on the specific memo but confirmed that it is seeking price reductions from suppliers for projects, some of which date back that far.
With high expenses and CEO Elon Musk's unwillingness to raise additional cash, this may prove to be another means to increase Tesla's cash flow.
"Automakers often have brutal pricing demands on suppliers for future work, but retroactive rebates is not something we hear much about, and this is troubling for us to hear", David Whiston, an analyst with brokerage Morningstar wrote in a note to clients. At the same time, and through the second and third quarters, it is ramping up production of its crucial Model 3.
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The Journal cited a memo from a manager to a supplier, saying that all suppliers are being asked to help Tesla become profitable.
Tesla has been burning cash at a rate of about $1 billion a quarter and finished the first quarter with $2.7 billion in cash on hand. He had been modeling for Model 3 deliveries around 1.1 million units, and such reduced his volume estimates over a 10-year period by about 42%. Analysts say Tesla needs to sell a lot more cars.
Tesla's rally call was aimed at all suppliers, although in the memo it was not made clear how they were expected to comply with the company's request for refunds.
As a possible crunch for Tesla approaches, Musk has said he has personally taken control of production and that he was sleeping occasionally at the factory.