Daimler raises outlook, says chip shortage may impact Q2 sales

Daimler raised its profit outlook for 2021, but warned that the global semiconductor chip shortage may continue to impact its sales in the second quarter.

The Mercedes-Benz maker said that although “visibility is limited at present,” it assumes some recovery in the availability of chips in the second half of this year.

But the company said it still expects its operating profit this year to be significantly above 2020 as the global economy recovers from the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic.

“After this promising start, we are very confident that we can keep up the pace to improve our margins on a sustainable basis and at the same time expand our electric vehicle lineup,” CFO Harald Wilhelm said in a statement on Friday.

Daimler said it now expected an adjusted margin from its Mercedes cars and van business of between 10 percent and 12 percent, up from its previous outlook of between 8 percent and 10 percent.

Last week Daimler unveiled the Mercedes EQS, its full-electric flagship sedan built on a new electric-only platform. The sedan is seen as a solid contender against EV market leader Tesla as EV sales take off.

The chip shortage has forced a number of major automakers to curtail production, including General Motors, Stellantis, Ford and Volkswagen.

Earlier this week, Daimler cut working hours for up to 18,500 employees and said it would temporarily halt production at two plants in Germany due to the chip shortage.

Cars have become increasingly dependent on chips for everything from computer management of engines for better fuel economy to driver-assistance features such as emergency braking.

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