Auto Dinosaurs Show They’re Not Dead Yet
A year ago, investors owed a lot to the large global carmaker for the dead. Shares of Daimler, General Motors and Ford Motor were at 10-year lows. Electric vehicle start-ups with no sales were sometimes higher than traditional automakers with thousands of employees and factories around the world. The epidemic saw that it would seal the fate of the dinosaurs.
But it turns out that old eunuchs can’t be ruined just yet. Income earned by Daimler On Thursday, some traditional carmakers made a notable comeback. These companies have managed to survive the epidemic, revive electric vehicles, and convince stock market investors that they will not allow Tesla to fight without its customers.
Daimler’s shares have risen threefold since the low mark in March, and rose again on Thursday after the company said Net Profit For the year, 2019 increased by nearly 50 percent to 4 billion euros, or $ 4.8 billion.
General Motors’ The shares have increased nearly threefold since March. The company beat analysts’ expectations last week when it reported a fourth-quarter net profit of $ 2.8 billion, compared to a loss a year earlier.
In addition to earning more money than investors thought was possible in a year of turmoil, two companies, which were in the early 20th century, are making decisions that show they understand the technological changes coming to the industry.
GM shifted the perception of its commitment to electric vehicles last month Phase Vehicles Powered by Fossil Fuels By 2035. Daimler shares after the company said this month that it would Split your car and truck divisions In individual companies, each has its own stock listing. Daimler, based in Stuttgart, Germany, makes Mercedes-Benz luxury cars and Freightliner trucks.
Daimler chief executive Ola Callenius said the decision to disband the company was intended to give managers more freedom to react to technological changes.
“As the pace of change of auto industries is increasing,” Mr. Kellenius said in an interview, “the pace of decision-making is important.”
GM promised to take an oath of fossil fuels, though not for another 14 years, setting off a chain reaction in the industry. Wade On Wednesday it said that by 2030, all its passenger cars sold in Europe will run on batteries only. Jaguar Land Rover On Monday, it said that all its Jaguar luxury cars and 60 percent Land Rover luxury SUVs will run fully on battery by 2030.
Mr. Kellenius has avoided making similar announcements. In many markets where the company is active, there is no infrastructure for electric cars, he pointed out. Therefore, a tone of fossil-fuel restraint is “not something we should do just to get a title,” he said.
But all future Mercedes-Benz models will be designed electrically, Mr. Kellenius said. “The way to our technology is clear,” he said. “We are going to take a leading position. It is too early for the world to pick up a date when the last combustion engine will leave the production line. “
Investors think they can manufacture electric cars. Ford shares, whose Mustang mach-e It has received good reviews since he killed his nadir in March. Shares of French carmaker Renault have also more than doubled since then; Is cheap Zoe Subcompany Last year was the best-selling battery-powered car in Europe.
Daimler will begin selling several new electric vehicles this year, including the Mercedes-Benz EQS, the company’s top-of-the-line S class car. The EQS will begin for sale in the summer, priced perhaps above $ 100,000.
“Gradually the financial market is starting to look at our technology portfolio, and we have everything in the pipeline,” Mr. Kellenius said.
So far, electric cars are not as profitable for Daimler and other traditional carmakers as gasoline models. Battery system Are more expensive than traditional engines and transmissions, and automakers are still learning how to make electric cars efficiently. It will take time to achieve profit margins “We are using towards internal combustion,” Mr. Kellenius said.
Daimler’s unexpectedly healthy profit in 2020 was a result of cost-cutting costs rather than any technological breakthrough. The company reduced its workforce by 7,000 employees, or 4 percent, and cut research and development budgets, which Mr. Kellenius described as still larger than competitors.
When the epidemic spread, Daimler quickly dialed back production so it stuck with unsold vehicles, Mr. Kellenius said.
Even after a sharp gain in their share prices, Daimler and GM are still only worth about a tenth as much as Tesla in the stock market, which makes up only a small fraction as many vehicles. Investors have been stunned by Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, and have more confidence in a company that does nothing but electric cars.
As Mr. Kellenius considered, dinosaurs are still very confident to do this before investors will believe they have too much potential.
“The financial market is going to wait and see a little,” he said. “How’s it going to play?”