Earnings

Daimler raises outlook, says chip shortage may impact second-quarter sales

Key Points
  • Daimler 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 German carmaker 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.
Daimler AG Mercedes Benz vehicles move along the production line at the company's international assembly plant in Vance, Alabama.
Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Mercedes-Benz car maker Daimler AG on Friday raised its profit outlook for 2021, but warned that the global semiconductor chip shortage may continue to impact its sales in the second quarter.

Daimler 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 German carmaker 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.

The chip shortage has curtailed production for a number of major automakers, including General Motors Co, Stellantis, Ford Motor Co and Daimler's German rival Volkswagen AG.

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.

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

Last week, Daimler said that soaring Chinese demand for luxury Mercedes-Benz cars and higher prices drove a better-than-expected profit in the first quarter.