Home Editor's Picks Will sagging stock prices lead to consolidation in the EV industry? 

Will sagging stock prices lead to consolidation in the EV industry? 


© Reuters.

Despite the broad-based tech bull market, times haven’t been easy in the EV space. From big boys like Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) and BYD (OTC:BYDDF) to emerging startups such as Canoo (NASDAQ:GOEV) and Sono Group (OTC:SEVCQ), the industry appears to have lost momentum on both the equity and financial sides. 

But while the rout has hit the sector as a whole, smaller companies are bearing the bigger brunt, with multiple stocks trading near or at 52-week lows.

As most of these companies rely on loans to drive growth and innovation, persistently high interest rates have ballooned debt levels on their balance sheets, increasing the risk of bankruptcy. At the same time, declining consumer demand keeps pressuring future growth projections — a true double whammy. 

“We could be bound to see tons of bankruptcies within the industry,” warns Joseph McCabe, President and CEO of AutoForecast Solutions. 

Against this backdrop, many analysts are beginning to wonder whether larger EV and other legacy players will be looking to speed up their EV plans via takeovers.

Such is the case of Sandeep Rao, Senior Researcher at Leverage Shares. “Given the current circumstances, consolidation within the EV industry is entirely logical,” he notes. 

Larry Tentarelli, Chief Technical Strategist at Blue Chip Daily Trend Report, also believes the scenario could favor M&As, but prefers to adopt a more cautious stance: “Consolidation is highly possible, but we do not believe it is a given,” he ponders. 

New Electric Car Companies On The Horizon

Just last week, Reuters reported that Nissan (OTC:NSANY) is in advanced talks to invest more than $400 million in smaller pure EV player Fisker (NYSE:FSR). This move could offer a much-needed financial boost to the struggling startup while broadening the Japan-based EV product offering and production in the US. 

More recently, Gene Munster of Deepwater Asset Management stated that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) acquiring failing Rivian (NASDAQ:RIVN) could be an interesting proposition for the iPhone maker following the announced shutdown of its EV plans.

Interviewed exclusively by Investing.com, Leverage Shares’ Sandeep Rao sees Lucid (NASDAQ:LCID) as a potential target for a full takeover. “Since Lucid is already majority-owned by the Saudi government, it will be a reasonable measure for the latter to unload its stake to a larger carmaker in exchange for shares, cash, or both,” he explains.   

Also consulted by Investing.com, Larry Tentarelli agrees that Lucid may become a potential target, adding that Rivian also presents similar conditions: “In the U.S, Lucid and Rivian appear to be the most vulnerable, based on their poor cash flow.”  

Outside of the US, China looks like a potential market for consolidation, albeit at a slower pace. “China is littered with a massive number of EV carmakers with varying levels of investment from provincial and state governments and often with little to show by way of strong market share trends. The consolidation over there will be a more subtle exercise,” adds Sandeep Rao. 

Indeed, another key factor to watch in this equation is China. According to AutoForecast Solutions’ McCabe, Chinese companies will “start moving into the US fast, and they will need to acquire brands that sound domestic to the American public.”

Electric Vehicle Industry Forecast 2024

But while EV merger talks are growing more frequent in the media, they remain only on the speculation side for now. In fact, many other analysts believe that companies will have a hard time making these bets amid the current macroeconomic environment. 

“The future we saw in 2021 when financial costs were null, and everybody was taking risks is not the future we see now for the next ten years. Money will cost money, which means EV companies will have a harder time making bets,” ponders Ross Gerber, President and CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management.

He adds, “the risk in the equity environment won’t necessarily pass on to companies, particularly in the EV space, as balance sheets remain strained.” 

Indeed, as Dealogic data shows, M&As are still lagging in general despite the overall rebound in equity and debt capital markets in 2023. According to the research agency, total global M&A value was down 25% YoY in 2023 and 23% in North America, with the technology sector being hit the hardest.

Moreover, a pronounced slowdown in consumer demand promises to keep the industry’s margins squeezed in the mid-term, at least. “Next year, we should have a flattening of the growth curve in the EV industry,” says McCabe. 

“In the US, China, and now Europe, the price war in EVs is eroding margins further, making it very difficult for these companies to make money despite generous incentives. This isn’t just about Tesla – i.e., everyone is losing,” notes Gordon Johnson, CEO at GLJ Research. 

This backdrop decreases the possibility of a takeover, as the big players also find themselves with less cash to spare. “The EV industry is weak currently, and for a leader like Toyota (NYSE:TM), Stellantis (NYSE:STLA), Ford (NYSE:F), or General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) to take over one of the struggling EV firms could put undue pressure on their balance sheets,” adds Larry Tentarelli. 

Bottom Line 

Given the current conditions of the EV market, consolidation appears more likely in the mid-term than now. “The good smaller brands, sadly, will likely be swallowed by big manufacturers that can scale and find other ways to get synergies out of the business,” notes Ross Gerber. 

However, with the Fed pivot in sight, conditions could change fast – particularly if rates fall faster than expected. “If conditions were to improve, the acquirer wouldn’t be as unconcerned but might be able to offer up a higher price via cheaper debt issuances,” concludes Sandeep Rao. 

Top 5 EV Stocks by Market Cap

Looking to keep an eye on potential M&As in the EV space? 

Here are the top and bottom 5 EV stocks by market cap:

Top 5: 

Tesla – 575.62B
BYD – 74.86B
Li Auto (NASDAQ:LI) – 39.79B
VinFast Auto (NASDAQ:VFS) – 12.57B
Nio (NYSE:NIO) – 12.00B

Bottom 5: 

Next eGO (NASDAQ:EGOX). – 11.40M
Faraday Future Intelligent Electric Inc (NASDAQ:FFIE). – 7.47M
Arcimoto (NASDAQ:FUV)  – 4.73M
Sono Group – 935.54K

Our Apps

Terms And Conditions
Privacy Policy
Risk Warning
Do not sell my personal information

© 2007-2024 Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.

Related News