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Semiconductor shortage disrupts automakers – economy


The Stellantis group, with 14 brands (including Jeep, Maserati …) warns that the lack of electronic chips, manufactured mainly in Asia and subject to exceptional global demand, will continue and have a greater impact in the second quarter, before an improvement in the second semester.

As at Ford, GM or Volkswagen, factories cannot operate in the absence of these components which have become ubiquitous in cars, and subject to very strong competition from IT since the pandemic has accelerated the rise of teleworking and recreation at home.

Suspension of assembly lines

In Brazil, France or the United States, eight of the 44 factories of the Stellantis group are currently affected by this shortage, between the suspension of certain assembly lines and days of technical unemployment, said the group’s financial director, Richard Palmer. , during a press conference.

Visibility is very limited and the group manages the situation from day to day, depending on the stock and profitability of the models, underlined the management of Stellantis.

The factories are testing options that want to be more flexible and standardized: the new Peugeot 308 has, for example, found analogue meters to replace digital meters, which cannot be found.

“It also allows us to act more efficiently, with a lower stock, which is good for the profitability of the group,” said Richard Palmer.

These inventories fell particularly in North America, slowing down sales (-4%), without damaging turnover, which is up 9%, driven by the sale of higher-end vehicles.

Rebound for 2021

Globally, Stellantis reported net sales of 34.3 billion euros in the first quarter, up 14% compared to the first quarter of 2020, which had been slowed down, to its end, by the first measures health related to Covid-19.

The group sold 1.567 million vehicles in the first quarter (+ 11%), a figure reflecting “strong consumer demand and good retail sales performance,” according to Stellantis.

The new group is on the top step of the podium in Europe in terms of vehicles sold (+ 11% on this continent), even ahead of Volkswagen, when passenger and utility vehicles are included, with good sales for the new Peugeot 208s. and 2008, Citroën C4 and Opel Mokka.

Maserati, whose figures are presented separately, saw its sales explode (+ 74%) with the renewal of its range, particularly in China.

Stellantis’ outlook is unchanged for the year 2021 in its main markets, with an expected rebound of 10% in Europe, 8% in North America and 20% in South America.

To boost its sales, the group is counting in the coming months on the launch of its new Opel Mokka and the production of Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Cherokee.

Stellantis also plans to present its strategy for electrification of its range, at the beginning of July, and its projects for China, at the end of 2021.

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