Relentless chip shortage could hurt 2021 Daimler car sales

A Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR concept vehicle is on display during a media day for Auto Shanghai in Shanghai, China on April 19, 2021. REUTERS / Aly Song / File Photo

LONDON, July 21 (Reuters) – A global shortage of semiconductor chips will weigh on car sales in the second half of 2021, Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler AG (DAIGn.DE) said on Wednesday, but left its outlook unchanged profit margin for the year. .

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

The company said its visibility into the evolution of the chip supply situation is currently low.

“Improving the visibility of the offering is a top priority for us,” CEO Ola Källenius said on a conference call with analysts and investors.

The shortage comes as demand for cars has increased as the global economy recovers from the ravages of COVID-19, pushing up prices for new and used vehicles as inventories decline.

Second-quarter Mercedes-Benz car sales jumped 27%, with a 54% jump in Europe, Daimler’s second-largest market after China.

After soaring at the end of 2020 and in the first quarter, Mercedes-Benz sales in China posted a modest gain of 5.8% in the second quarter.

The company said it now expects full-year car sales to be in line with 2020 levels. Earlier, the German automaker said it expects unit sales to be in line with 2020 levels. cars this year are significantly higher than last year.

Daimler also said its 2021 adjusted profit margins for its trucks and buses division would be between 6% and 7%, below its previous forecast of 6% to 8%.

The company confirmed on Wednesday that the group’s adjusted second-quarter profit before interest and taxes (EBIT) was 5.42 billion euros ($ 6.38 billion), with the auto and truck divisions exceeding analysts’ targets.

Daimler released preliminary results last week. Read more

($ 1 = € 0.8495)

Reporting by Nick Carey; edited by Clarence Fernandez and Jason Neely

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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