Daimler slashes car sales outlook due to chip shortage

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Daimler said early-year growth in its main Mercedes-Benz division would be wiped out by the global semiconductor shortage the automaker expects to curb in the second half of the year.

Mercedes car sales are now expected to be roughly flat this year rather than significantly higher from 2020. The lack of chips will have a negative impact on business as the year progresses and visibility on the supply trend is weak, Daimler said in a statement Wednesday. declaration.

“The entire industry is currently struggling with longer delivery times, which unfortunately also affects our customers,” said CEO Ola Kallenius. “We are doing what we can to minimize the impact.”

Despite the chip shortage, Daimler’s second-quarter revenue grew 44% to 43.5 billion euros ($ 51.2 billion).

The company also slightly raised the margin outlook for its trucks and buses unit as well as its mobility division.

Profit before interest and taxes jumped to 5.19 billion euros, the company said, confirming preliminary figures released last week.

The car and light truck division’s profit margin reached double digits for a third consecutive quarter.

Daimler predicted in April that Mercedes would be more profitable than it has been in years, thanks to the resurgence in demand for vehicles amid the pandemic. At the time, the company had raised its forecast of annual sales return for its cars and light trucks division from 10% to 12%, from 8% to 10%.

The Stuttgart-based automaker said a plan to split up its sprawling truck division is on track to be completed before the end of the year. Mercedes will brief investors on Thursday about battery technology projects and its growing range of electric vehicles.

This year, Mercedes has stepped up its electric vehicle deployment with the new EQS sedan, the battery-powered sister of its flagship S-Class, as mainstream automakers broaden their attack on Tesla. The company will manufacture eight fully electric cars on three continents next year. It has flanked the EQS with the compact EQA and plans to unveil the electric version of its best-selling E-Class sedan later this year.

Production cuts

Daimler is among the major automakers that have had to cut production this year due to the shortage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

BMW said on Tuesday that nearly all of its German factories were affected by semiconductor shortages that currently prevent the company from completing around 10,000 cars. Volkswagen and Stellantis have warned that the issue could affect profits later this year.

Faced with limitations on the number of assembly lines they can continue to operate, automakers are prioritizing the production of their biggest silver generators and refraining from the discounts customers are used to, even luxury brands.

Reuters contributed to this report


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