On Wednesday, BMW cut its output projection and issued a warning about a very uncertain second half, citing the availability of energy in Europe and semiconductors globally as the two most important factors in whether the automaker would meet its full-year earnings goals.
According to CEO Oliver Zipse, new inbound orders were starting to decline but order books were still full for the upcoming few months.
Finance chief Nicolas Peter stated that there was a particularly high demand for electric vehicles. According to him, the luxury automaker was on track to achieve its objective of tripling all-electric vehicle sales by year’s end and anticipated total sales growth of 5 to 10 percent in the second half, supported by robust Asian markets.
BMW anticipates that year-end deliveries will fall short of the 2.52 million record highs set in 2017.
Its prediction did not account for tightening sanctions against Russia, a gas supply disruption, or the potential for the situation in Ukraine to escalate.
“The crucial factor will be how the supply situation develops – not just for semiconductors, but also energy supplies in Europe,” Zipse said.
At 09:31 GMT, BMW stock had decreased by 4.9 percent.
While Berstein Research observed that BMW had become the first automaker to express caution about demand, Stifel analyst Daniel Schwarz described its prognosis as “rather disappointing.”
Plans for energy emergencies
Germany and other European Union countries have implemented emergency preparations to reduce gas use out of concern that Russia may further reduce or stop selling gas to Europe in reaction to Western sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine.
Around 3,500 gigawatt hours of energy are used by BMW each year in Germany and Austria, with natural gas accounting for 75 percent of that energy.
According to Zipse, the automaker might purchase electricity from other sources to replace the roughly 500 gigawatt hours of electricity produced annually by gas-powered combined heat and power facilities. It would be more difficult to replace the gas utilised in manufacturing processes.
“Partial compensation is possible… even if it works, it will certainly be expensive. There is no way we will be able to maintain the costs per kilowatt hour,” he added.
According to a study released on Wednesday by Germany’s Ifo institute, the financial health of German automakers started to worsen in July as order backlogs shrank and price expectations fell sharply.
Compared to rival Mercedes-Benz, which last week increased its profitability projection for the year after profits and revenues increased in the second quarter despite declining unit sales, BMW’s remarks were more dismal.
Despite increasing revenues, the Munich-based automaker’s second-quarter profitability decreased by 31% to 3.4 billion euros ($3.46 billion), exceeding the consensus estimate of eight analysts polled by Refinitiv that had predicted 3.13 billion euros.
BMW reported a lower automotive margin of 8.2 percent compared to last year’s 15.8 percent due to the consolidation of its joint venture in China, BMW Brilliance Automotive, which boosted revenues in the first half but lowered earnings in the second quarter.
Overall, the first half earnings before tax increased by 7.7 billion euros due to the revaluation of the Chinese joint venture shares.