The automotive industry stands at the complex intersection of innovation, geopolitics, and financial intricacy; a juncture that presents unique challenges in credit management. While the Worldwide Risk Score (WRS) of 5.5 may suggest a moderate landscape, the subtleties at play deserve a closer examination. In this industry, multiple factors often converge to affect credit risk in surprising ways.


Consider how supply chain disruptions due to semiconductor shortages can lead to extended payment terms. In isolation, this might be manageable. However, layer in the potential for geopolitical unrest, which could disrupt supply chains even further or freeze assets, and the credit risk escalates substantially. When companies are also engaged in mergers or acquisitions, often accompanied by restructuring debts and complex payment structures, the credit landscape becomes even more volatile.

Moreover, companies in the automotive industry often need to channel substantial funds into R&D to stay competitive. While this leads to long-term growth, it also induces short-term liquidity strains, affecting credit risk almost immediately. What complicates this further is the ever-changing regulatory environment around emissions, safety standards, or trade, which can swiftly alter a company’s ability to honour its debts.


What we see detailed in this paper is not just a list of isolated factors but a web of interconnected variables. This paper aims to unpack these complexities, offering a robust framework that captures the multidimensional nature of trade credit risk in the automotive industry. We go beyond identifying individual factors, striving instead to understand how these elements interact to shape a fluid and ever-changing credit risk landscape.

In an industry marked by both its dynamism and complexities, effective risk management means understanding not just the components but also their interplay. With this in-depth analysis, we hope to provide you with the tools to assess, adapt, and thrive in this challenging yet rewarding sector.


I hope you’ll find this paper useful.


Lisa Baker-Reynolds,

CEO, Baker Ing International


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