Tesla shares plummet after reportedly asking suppliers for cash rebates

Shares of Tesla fell as much as 5.7 percent Monday morning following a report that the money-losing electric car maker was hitting up suppliers for cash rebates.

The company, which has already tapped the debt and equity markets for much-needed cash, turned recently to some suppliers for “meaningful” rebates on payments made to them since 2016, according to a report.

Elon Musk’s struggling car company made the rebate request in a memo, according to the report.

The memo said the rebates were essential to Tesla’s continued operation, according to the Wall Street Journal report, that said the paper had reviewed the memo.

Tesla downplayed the significance of the request — and its need for cash, saying such a rebate is a “standard part of procurement operations,” according to the Journal report.

Tesla burned through more than $700 million in the first quarter — leaving it with $2.7 billion cash on hand. At the same time, and through the second and third quarters, it is ramping up production of its crucial Model 3.

That costly endeavor, which required vast amounts of overtime, could exacerbate its cash crunch.

The Monday stock sell-off, to $296.61 at 10:10 a.m., left Tesla down 7.3 percent for the year.

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