The recovery of the German car market is already over. After four months of strong growth from a year earlier, new registrations fell by a quarter to about 236,400 vehicles in July, the Federal Motor Transport Authority announced on Wednesday. After seven months, there were 1.6 million new registrations, an increase of about seven percent.
During the months of March to June, new registrations rose sharply from the weakness of the previous year, as car production and trade came to a halt in the first lockdown and activity then slowly picked up. Now, due to the lack of semiconductors, automakers cannot build as many cars as they could sell. While registrations of vehicles with gasoline and diesel engines fell sharply in July, electric vehicles were still in demand. According to the Flensburg authority, new registrations of all-electric cars have increased by around 52%.
In the United States, on the other hand, the automaker General Motors (GM), boosted by its strong domestic activity, sharply increased its profits and raised its forecasts. Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes hit a record $ 4.1 billion in the second quarter, America’s largest automaker said on Wednesday. During the same period a year ago, there was a loss of $ 536 million due to the pandemic. The forecast has raised the leadership around GM boss Mary Barra, despite the burden of an expensive recall of the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle. Thus, operating income (EBIT) this year is expected to be between $ 11.5 billion and $ 13.5 billion instead of the previously expected range of $ 10 billion to $ 11 billion.
But American automakers are also burdened by the lack of chips. In its outlook, the Detroit-based company assumes that around 100,000 vehicles will not be able to be produced in North America in the second half of the year. Additionally, the company expects costs of up to $ 2 billion due to higher raw material costs. “The semiconductor shortage persists and supply chain challenges will continue into the second half of the year,” General Motors said. Automakers around the world are affected by delivery bottlenecks for important components and therefore have to continually shut down production. Opel’s parent company Stellantis is concerned that it will not be able to produce 1.4 million cars this year due to the lack of controls. Even the world’s largest automaker Toyota, which was largely spared thanks to good storage, is now feeling the bottlenecks.