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Auto giants BMW and Stellantis return to profit in first half, but remain wary on semiconductor shortage

BMW warns that the semiconductor shortage and higher raw materials prices are likely to impact the second half of the year

Fiat Chrysler -

Auto giants BMW and Stellantis NV (NYSE:STLA, EPA:STLA) both reported a return to profit in the first half despite global Coronavirus restrictions and the shortage of semiconductor components.

BMW reported record first-half vehicle sales and a 40% increase versus the same period in 2020.

The German carmaker warned that the semiconductor shortage and higher raw materials prices are likely to impact the second half of the year, although it "expects business to develop positively overall" for the full year.

"The forecast is based on the assumption that neither the Coronavirus pandemic nor the semiconductor supply situation will worsen significantly and that prices on international raw materials markets remain stable,” said Dr Nicolas Peter, a member of BMW’s board of management.

“We were largely able to compensate for the challenging semiconductor supply problems arising in the first six months through the sheer hard work of our purchasing, production and sales staff. However, the longer the supply bottlenecks last, the more tense the situation is likely to become.

“We expect production restrictions to continue in the second half of the year and hence a corresponding impact on sales volumes," he added.

US-European auto giant Stellantis, formed by the merger of Peugeot and Fiat Chrysler, also swung back into profit.

It raised its adjusted operating income margin guidance for the full year to about 10%, assuming no further deterioration of semiconductor supply and no further significant lockdowns in Europe and US.

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