Light and shadow in the German auto industry – economy

In the first few days of each year, the arithmetic starts in the car headquarters: Who among German carmakers in the so-called premium league has sold the most cars in the past twelve months? Even if the managers often emphasize the value of “profitability”: the crown of the market leader is the most brilliant. Usually, in December, the last dusty vehicles are fetched from the corners of the courtyards and sold at a high discount in order to make the delivery figures as attractive as possible.

But in 2021 it was different: everywhere there was a lack of computer chips for building cars, so demand exceeded supply. And now, after everyone has presented their figures, it becomes clear who was best able to cope with this scarcity: BMW. The Munich-based company sold a good 2.2 million cars, which is not only a record sales, but also the only plus in the German comparison. What is it According to the industry, BMW maintains the most cooperative business relationships with suppliers – and they are the most flexible in assembling vehicles. Mercedes-Benz, the front runner from last year, had a good two million vehicles in 2021 – only the pure brand is calculated here, minus brands such as Smart. The third in the league, Audi, is currently beaten: The Ingolstadt-based company was able to sell just under 1.7 million cars – about as many as last year.

In comparison within the parent company, Audi is still in a fairly decent position, as is Porsche. Both of them got the most of the scarce computer chips from the corporate headquarters in Wolfsburg, because these cars are where the most money can be made. On the other hand, the group brand Skoda suffered with a sales decline of 13 percent and the core brand VW also fell by eight percent. This is not only due to the chip crisis, but also to product and sales problems in the most important market, China. If you add up everything that has wheels and is sold, you get 8.9 million buses, trucks, motorcycles and cars in the Volkswagen Group. This is the lowest level in ten years and a far cry from the ten million that Wolfsburg was once so proud of. This means that VW should again be well behind the Japanese Toyota group in the world ranking of vehicle manufacturers.

However, in the past four weeks, VW shares have been almost as popular as those from BMW (98 euros): the VW share price is around 190 euros. Apparently the pacification of the VW leadership dispute over Herbert Diess gives investors further hope. The Mercedes course, on the other hand, shows less movement and is around 74 euros.

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