Prolonged Payment Cycles Hit Nio, Xpeng Suppliers

In the evolving landscape of Chinese electric vehicle (EV) makers, Nio and Xpeng are facing challenges with prolonged payment cycles to their suppliers. According to a recent report by Bloomberg, at the close of 2023, Nio was taking around 295 days to settle its accounts payable, significantly up from 197 days in 2021. Similarly, Xpeng’s payment time frame increased to 221 days from 179 days over the same period. This delay in payments is reflective of the economic strains on automakers in China due to slow growth and subdued consumer confidence, leading to reduced demand for EVs.


The report highlights the financial pressure faced by Chinese EV manufacturers, where Nio and Xpeng are now taking significantly longer to clear bills owed to their suppliers compared to previous years. In contrast, Tesla’s payment time has remained relatively stable at about 101 days, showcasing a more efficient financial operation.

Why does it matter?

Extended payment cycles not only impact the liquidity of manufacturers but also have cascading effects on their suppliers, particularly smaller tier-three or four vendors who struggle to absorb these delays. The increasingly competitive EV market in China, marked by shrinking profit margins and intense price wars, is pushing manufacturers to navigate through financial challenges while striving to maintain operations and supplier relationships.

How is it going to shape the future?

As the EV industry in China matures and faces shifting market dynamics, the phenomenon of delayed payments could potentially lead to a wave of supplier bankruptcies, disrupting the supply chain and posing production hurdles for automakers. This scenario might prompt a period of consolidation in the sector, potentially altering the competitive landscape and reshaping industry dynamics in the coming years.

Despite the setbacks related to prolonged payment cycles, both Nio and Xpeng have showcased steady growth in vehicle deliveries over recent years. However, the increasing financial strains underscore the importance of sustainable financial practices to ensure the stability and growth of these key players in the Chinese EV market.

In conclusion, the evolving financial challenges faced by Nio and Xpeng underscore the broader economic pressures impacting the Chinese EV industry, signaling a need for strategic financial management and resilience to navigate the changing landscape of the sector.