MILAN -- Stellantis posted record results for the first half thanks to strong pricing and high-margin vehicle sales, but rising production as the chip shortage eases could hit the industry's ability to raise prices in 2023, CEO Carlos Tavares warned.
The industry has benefited from what Tavares called a "sweet spot" where a lack of core parts like semiconductor chips has hurt production, but high demand for vehicles has allowed automakers to charge more and raise profits despite high energy and raw material costs.
If production rises "the pricing power of the industry will be somehow reduced, which means you may have pressure on the margins," Tavares told reporters on Thursday. "We do not want to be squeezed in a situation where transaction prices are under pressure and inflation costs are still there."
Stellantis' adjusted earnings before interest and tax rose 44 percent on a pro-forma basis to 12.4 billion euros ($12.7 billion) in the January-June period. Stellantis, whose brands include Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Citroen, Peugeot, Fiat, Maserati and Opel, does not report quarterly financial results.
First-half margin rose to 14.1 percent from 11.4 percent a year earlier, with a record 18.1 percent in North America, where the group made almost half of its sales in the six months, and a double-digit result for all of the group's five regions.