The car manufacturer Daimler did much better than expected in the third quarter. The market has recovered faster than expected, especially in September, the business developed strongly, the group announced.
The strict cost discipline and the other measures to increase efficiency also had an effect. Positive effects are also expected for the rest of the year – provided there are no further corona lockdowns.
The effects of this had pulled Daimler deep into the red in the second quarter. For the third quarter, according to preliminary figures, earnings before interest and taxes of 3.07 billion euros are now on the books, which is even more than in the same quarter of the previous year. At that time it was just under 2.7 billion euros. Analysts had expected just under two billion euros.
“The results of the third quarter reflect a very strong performance and prove that we are on the right track in lowering the breakeven point,” said CFO Harald Wilhelm according to the announcement. At the same time, they took advantage of the opportunities that had arisen from the recovery in the markets. “We expect this positive dynamic to continue in the fourth quarter, although the usual seasonality of year-end business must be taken into account,” said Wilhelm.
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Daimler will present the final figures on Friday next week – together with an updated forecast for 2020 as a whole, as the company announced.
CEO Ola Källenius recently emphasized several times that after the low point of the Corona crisis with a drop in demand and weeks of production stops, things are now looking up again. In China in particular, the market has picked up significantly again. In the third quarter, Daimler was able to sell more cars worldwide than in the same quarter of the previous year. Calculated over the whole year, however, there is still a noticeable deficit.
After the outbreak of the corona pandemic, Källenius tightened his already planned austerity program again in order to keep the money together in the crisis. In the long term, however, the breakeven point should be brought down significantly – also with cuts in personnel. Compulsory layoffs are off the table, but jobs are being cut in other ways. As a short-term reaction to the corona pandemic, working hours are being reduced in certain areas. In addition, the entire workforce in Germany has to forego the annual bonus. The so-called collectively agreed additional money is automatically converted into days off. And Daimler wants to sell its Smart plant in Hambach, France.
Källenius is also continuing to work on the strategy, wants to focus completely on electric cars and also more on luxury and the upper ends of the segments where more money can be made per car.