The timing might seem fishy, but everything else about Tesla's request for $2,500 during the Model 3 ordering process seems to be on the up and up.
Earlier this week, CNBC reported that all Model 3 reservation holders were receiving emails inviting them to finalize their orders and, most importantly, asking for $2,500 to fulfill said orders.
While not every automaker requires some portion of a vehicle's purchase price before a factory order, it's not out of the ordinary for Tesla. It's required a $2,500 deposit for all of its vehicle orders, including Model S and Model X. Both the $2,500 deposit and the $1,000 reservation are applied to the car's price tag, and while the $2,500 deposit is refundable, buyers only have three days to cancel their order to receive a full refund.
A Tesla spokesperson confirmed that this has been the case for all three vehicles.
CNBC also reported that the email sent to readers said delivery of these new orders could take place "in as soon as 2-4 months." That's just a generic estimate, and upon entering Tesla's online design studio and finalizing the vehicle trim and options, customers will receive a more detailed delivery window based on that information.
The timing, and not the request for additional money to start the order, is what makes this whole thing appear fishy. Tesla is soon to close its second quarter, and Elon Musk has promised that the company will soon be profitable, although likely not until the third or fourth quarter. Opening up all its remaining reservations to be converted to orders could help shore up the company's financial position as the second quarter draws to a close, providing a boon to its liquidity as the company pushes with its might to reach Musk's self-imposed production goal of 5,000 Model 3s per week -- a goal post that's been moved back more than once.
Tesla isn't too far away from reporting its second-quarter sales and delivery figures, so keep your eyes peeled to Roadshow to see if Musk did or did not meet his own targets.