They are in good shape, thank you for them. Global car manufacturers unanimously post honorable financial results in the first half of 2022. Despite the shortage of electronic components, the drop in production, the logistical disruptions linked to the aftermath of Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine, as well as the wait-and-see attitude automotive markets in the face of the energy transition. BMW announced on Wednesday August 3 that it had doubled its net profit (to 13.2 billion euros). Mainly because, it is true, of the consolidation of the activities of its Chinese joint venture with Brilliance. On the other hand, the Bavarian firm saw the operating margin of its automotive activities drop (to 8.5% over the first six months, against 13% a year earlier) for technical reasons. It prevents. If it is abnormally low, the margin of the Munich specialist in high-end models remains largely positive. BMW was the last automaker to publish its half-year results.
The other Germans are doing very well. Its rival Mercedes even reached a margin of 15.3% in the first half (automotive activity), one of the best in its history. Audi (Volkswagen group) broke all records (at 16.5%). And Porsche too (Volkswagen group, too), bordering on 19.4%. The “premium” remains a source of big profits. The Volkswagen Group as a whole achieved an average of 9.7%.
On the American side, Ford recorded a half-year margin of 7.4% (automotive), GM 8.9%, the Californian luxury car specialist Tesla 17%! The Korean Hyundai Motor posted an operating profitability of 8.3% (in the second quarter). The results of the Japanese are not comparable, because their financial years are staggered in the year. It prevents. Over the 2021-2022 fiscal year (ended on March 31), Toyota, the world’s leading car manufacturer, achieved a margin of 9.5%, ahead of its compatriots Honda (6%), Mitsubishi Motors 4.3%, Nissan 2 9%, these last two members of the Alliance with Renault.
Stellantis results, worthy of “premium” manufacturers
From these financial announcements, it appears that the Franco-Italian-American group Stellantis is the third most profitable manufacturer in the world, in the classification by group, behind Tesla and Mercedes-Benz. Carlos Tavares, its managing director, posted a historic current operating margin of 14.1% over the first six months. Worthy of the best high-end specialists. Against 11.4% in the first half of 2021. The group born in January 2021 from the merger between PSA and FCA (Fiat Chrysler) generates results worthy of car manufacturers specializing in “premium”. And this, while it has among its fourteen brands generalist labels such as Citroën, Peugeot, Opel, Fiat, with structurally lower margins. Stellantis’ North American margin even exceeds 18% thanks to high-profit Jeeps and other Ram pickups. On the other hand, despite an ongoing improvement, Renault remains dead last in terms of profitability, with a margin of barely 4.7% over six months (2.1% a year earlier).
These very respectable results, except those of Renault, are due in particular to a marked increase in the average selling price of vehicles. Manufacturers took advantage of the shortage to redirect their activities to higher-margin models. At the expense of entry-level. “By focusing on luxury cars, electric vehicles, premium minibuses (…), it was possible to compensate for the increase in raw material prices and the drop in sales due to the shortage of semiconductors”, confesses Mercedes in its press release. The remarkable result of the first half is the “reflection of rising prices, higher-end sales and positive exchange rate effects”, specified for its part, on July 28, Stellantis. “We have favored the production of electric vehicles”, outbid Carlos Tavares in a round table with the press. The limit of price increases to compensate for the fall in volumes seems to have been reached, however, ensures this Wednesday, August 3 a study by the German institute IFO.