VW’s Traton Flags Significant Sales Hit From Chip Shortage

The new Infineon Technologies AG chip factory in Villach, Austria. (Akos Stiller/Bloomberg News)

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Volkswagen AG’s truck division Traton SE became the latest manufacturer to warn the global shortage of semiconductors is jeopardizing deliveries.

Sales in the third quarter will be significantly lower than planned, the truck maker said in a statement Sept. 22. Supply bottlenecks are expected to continue in the fourth quarter and into next year.

Traton’s parent VW, Daimler AG and rivals outside Germany including Toyota Motor Corp. have braced investors for a downbeat quarterly earnings season after COVID-19 outbreaks in Southeast Asia further crimped chip supplies. The chief executives of VW and Daimler recently warned shortages could continue for months or years to come.


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Analysts are likely to cut their projections for Traton’s full-year earnings before interest and taxes by about 20%, Citigroup Inc.’s Klas Bergelind said in a note. He estimates the Munich-based manufacturer will deliver around 56,000 trucks this quarter, below consensus of 62,000 units, and assumes the last three months of the year will be similar.

Shares of Traton, which comprises the Scania and MAN vehicle brands as well as U.S. manufacturer Navistar, rose as much as 1.6% in Frankfurt, reversing earlier declines. The stock is up about 2% for the year.

Shortages of semiconductors and other parts have taken a worsening toll on Traton since the end of August. Malaysia has emerged as the main pinch point for its supply chain recently after outbreaks of COVID-19 spurred lockdowns that disrupted chip packaging and testing.

“We have ramped up existing measures in order to mitigate the supply bottlenecks as much as possible,” CEO Matthias Gruendler said in the statement. “There is a lot of demand for trucks from our customers right now, in the aftermath of the COVID-19 economic slump, and we believe they should get their vehicles as quickly as possible.”

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