Revenues rose during the first three months of the year for Chrysler parent Stellantis even as vehicle shipments fell, which the company tied to the squeeze from the continuing global semiconductor chip shortage.
Stellantis reported net revenues of $43.7 billion (41.5 billion euros), a 12% increase, compared with the same period last year, as it showcased a limited window Thursday into its financial results for the first quarter of 2022.
The company’s shipments were at almost 1.4 million vehicles for the quarter, a drop of more than 12%, which it said was “primarily” a result of unfilled semiconductor chip orders.
Jeep sales cited in strong outlook for year
Although shipments were down, Chief Financial Officer Richard Palmer, in a news release, noted that high prices and sales of profitable newer vehicles, such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee L and Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, had boosted revenues. He also forecast a positive outlook for the year, even with industry-wide challenges ahead.
“Our full-year guidance for double-digit adjusted operating income, margins and positive cash flow is confirmed, despite supply and inflationary headwinds, as good product momentum and strategic partnerships continue to pave the way,” Palmer said in the release.
Those partnerships include the agreement with South Korea’s LG Energy Solution to invest $4 billion to build an electric vehicle battery plant in Windsor, Ontario. That is one piece of the company’s push toward vehicle electrification. Later this year, the company is also expected to unveil concept versions of its planned electric Dodge muscle car and Ram 1500 pickup and, in coming weeks, announce the location of an electric vehicle battery plant in the United States.
Revenue outpaces Ford and GM
Stellantis, which also owns Jeep, Ram, Dodge, Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Maserati, along with other brands sold in other parts of the globe, won’t provide a full earnings report until July, a departure from Detroit Three rivals General Motors and Ford, which release earnings quarterly. That approach, with earnings only released every six months, has been consistent for Stellantis since it was created by the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Peugeot maker PSA Group in January of last year.
Stellantis had a better revenue result than GM or Ford for the quarter. GM reported revenues of $36 billion, an increase from $32.5 billion, and Ford said it had revenues of $34.5 billion, compared with $36.2 billion during the prior year, according to previous Free Press reports.
Ford reported a bottom-line loss of $3.1 billion in the first quarter, owing entirely to a $5.5 billion drop in the value of its investment in electric truck maker Rivian.
GM reported a net profit of $2.9 billion, nearly flat compared with $3 billion a year earlier.
Gains despite chip shortage
During its first quarter report in 2021, Stellantis reported net revenues of $44.45 billion (converted from the currency exchange value of 37 billion euros at that time), a 14% increase over the prior year’s results for the two predecessor companies, and shipments of 1.6 million vehicles, an 11% increase. Those results, which were also affected by the chip shortage, were an improvement over the prior year when the coronavirus pandemic was in its early stages.
Commenting on the first three months of 2021, Palmer had noted that the lower inventory brought on by the chip shortage wasn’t all bad.
“I don’t think we will be pushing to necessarily go back to the same levels of stock we had in the past,” Palmer said at the time. “The organization is learning to function with lower levels of stock and seeing the benefits.”
Contact Eric D. Lawrence: email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @_ericdlawrence.