Brussels (Brussels Morning) The European automotive giant Stellantis produced 190,000 fewer vehicles than planned during the first three months of 2021 due to the global semiconductor shortage, but still managed to increase its revenues compared to the previous year, AP reports.
Stellantis was formally established on 17 January this year, a merger of automotive conglomerates Fiat Chrysler and PSA Peugeot that created the third largest car manufacturer in the world by revenues, and the fourth largest by production volume.
Listing the new company’s first quarter results, Chief Financial Officer Richard Palmer compared the figures with the sum of Fiat Chrysler’s and PSA Peugeot’s Q1 2020 results. Viewed as such, the new company can boast a 14% increase in first quarter revenues.
Overall shipments also grew 11%, to 1,567,000 units, a result attributed in part to higher demand and a different product mix. Revenues remained balanced between the company’s two main markets – North America and Europe. North American revenues added up to 15.9 million euro, while sales in Europe reached just over 16 million euro, with both showing gains compared to 2020.
Palmer described the new company’s progress on achieving synergies from the merger as “very encouraging”, although he conceded it would take time to “realise the full potential” of the merger. “But I think we are very much on track”, he said.
As to the global semiconductor shortage, Palmer noted that lost production amounted to 190,000 vehicles. He said eight of the company’s 44 plants are affected by the shortage, which has led to reductions in shifts or temporary closures of vehicle lines. He said the impact is likely to be greater in the second quarter, but claimed that it is “still very controlled”.
The semiconductor shortage, caused as chipmakers turned to more profitable lines when car factories shut down during the pandemic, was additionally exacerbated with a fire at a Japan fab, and an ice storm that closed three fabs in the US state of Texas. It is unlikely to abate before new production lines are opened by end of this year.