BMW and Stellantis report big jumps in profit as car sales snap back.
The global car market is rebounding strongly despite shortages of key components like semiconductors. That was the message Tuesday from German carmaker BMW and Stellantis, which owns Jeep, Peugeot and Fiat, as both reported large increases in profit.
BMW said it made a net profit of 4.8 billion euros, or $5.7 billion, in the second quarter of 2021 compared with a loss a year earlier, when the pandemic forced showrooms around the world to close. Sales soared 43 percent to 28.6 billion euros, driven by particularly strong increases in China and the United States, BMW said. Both sales and profit were higher than the same quarter in 2019, before the pandemic struck.
Stellantis, the product of a merger this year of Fiat Chrysler and the French maker of Peugeot and Citroën cars, reported a net profit for the first six months of 2021 of 5.9 billion euros, compared with a loss a year earlier, after sales rose 46 percent to 75 billion euros.
The Stellantis figures are based on a calculation of what the combined companies’ sales and earnings would have been in the first half of 2020, had the merger already taken place. Stellantis did not publish quarterly figures.
At the same time, both companies, which between them employ more than 400,000 people, warned that a global shortage of semiconductors is continuing to disrupt production.
Nicolas Peter, the chief financial officer of BMW, told reporters during a conference call that the chip famine could curtail production by as much as 90,000 vehicles this year.
That is on top of other risks, including further waves of the pandemic, higher prices for raw materials like steel, and extreme weather like the floods in western Germany last month that killed nearly 200 people. “Confronted with all these risks,” said Oliver Zipse, the chief executive of BMW, “the second half-year will be more challenging for the BMW Group than the first.”
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