The financial strength of Tesla raises many concerns. Starting with that of some of its suppliers who think that the production of Model 3 has used part of the cash flow of the automaker.
An investigation by an association of car suppliers to senior executives and revealed by the Wall Street Journal reveals that 18 of the 22 respondents are of the opinion that Tesla now represents a financial risk for companies. Eight respondents are also concerned that the builder will go bankrupt.
When asked, several of these equipment manufacturers said that the American group had tried to extend payment terms or demand a substantial discount. Small suppliers have also indicated that they have not been paid for services to Tesla in recent months.
Comprehensive payment terms of 60 to 120 days
Nevertheless, according to sources near the company, Tesla has improved its production-related payment terms to 95% compared to 90% last year. For others, Tesla pays on time in 80% of cases. "We are not late because we can not afford them, it is only because we check if the parts are correct," said Elon Musk.
In the meantime, Elon Musk's group demanded some of its vendors' discounts in recent weeks ranging from 9 to 20% of what the company had paid in 2016. The requests for additional payment delays would be issued in some cases from 60 to 120 days. One of the company's subcontractors also said that Tesla has stopped paying since the spring, so today he is afraid of the insolvency of his own company.
"When there is uncertainty in the market, this causes concern among suppliers"
Although they represent only a very small part of the companies that work for Tesla, the suppliers who participated in the survey testify to the concerns about the capacity of the car manufacturer to pay its subcontractors.
"As far as Tesla is concerned, it is a source of concern for suppliers when there is uncertainty in the market," said Julie Fream, General Manager of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association. of the research. "The current dialogue on Tesla's exit from the stock market, the well-known challenges of boosting the production of Model 3, as well as the recently reported controversial buying tactics, are of concern to our members."
Lose money since the beginning of the year
In the first six months of the year, Tesla's money fell from $ 1.13 billion to $ 2.24 billion. But the company hopes to increase its money by several hundreds of millions of dollars by the end of September, thanks to an increase in deliveries of vehicles.
However, a total of 16 companies have filed "privileges" against Tesla since October, that is to say complaints for claiming compensation for unpaid. This is four times more than in 2015 and 2016 together.
In turn, Deepak Ahuka, Tesla's chief financial officer, said that the subcontractors' response should not be seen as a sign of financial need: "It's a problem between the subcontractor and the contractor," he said, adding that subcontractors usually place the manufacturer in a "privilege" to put pressure on him.