Automakers thrived in 2021 amid chip shortages, flat sales and rising material costs


Revenues were the main driver of the increase in profitability: revenues increased 12% in Europe, 13% in the United States and 15% in South Korea, despite flat or declining sales.

Indeed, automakers have been successful in getting consumers to pay more for cars, through higher list prices and reduced incentives, largely because a lack of semiconductors has sharply reduced the production.

Automakers channeled their limited supply of chips into more expensive models, improving price mix and boosting profit margins.

Double-digit price increases in certain markets and segments more than offset the impact on margins of lower volumes and the cost of electrification. For example, Stellantis saw average transaction prices increase by 20% in the U.S. retail market, due to a combination of price increases at showrooms, lower incentives and a more mix. rich.

Cutting costs also helped. Stellantis, in its first year after its creation by the merger of Groupe PSA and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, achieved 3.2 billion euros in net cash synergies, a figure above expectations. Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares told analysts the group had lowered its break-even point to less than 50% of unit sales.

Renault, which has already cut operating expenses by billions since 2020 as part of its own cost-cutting plan, said it was able to lower its break-even point by 40% two years earlier. provided that.


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