Germany’s premium automobile producers loved document excessive costs for his or her luxurious fashions in 2021 as a scarcity of semiconductors restricted the availability of automobiles to main markets simply as client demand was hovering.

Revenues per automobile at BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz elevated by a mean of virtually 25 per cent when in comparison with pre-pandemic 2019, evaluation carried out by Stifel financial institution for the Monetary Occasions has proven.

The rise has been attributable to a reversal of a decades-long pattern, wherein the trade produced extra automobiles than it offered. Carmakers then provided ever increased reductions to push extra automobiles on to forecourts, in order that gross sales quantity targets may very well be reached in time for accounting deadlines.

Since 2019, when the worldwide economic system weakened, producers have begun to make fewer automobiles than they will promote, with the hole widening to roughly 4m automobiles this 12 months. Though there was an analogous deficit following the monetary disaster in 2009, it was an anomaly amid years of overcapacity.

“We’ve seen a listing discount for 3 years, pushed by [restricted] provide,” mentioned Daniel Schwarz, an analyst at Stifel. “That has not occurred earlier than.”

Because of this, revenues at Mercedes-Benz have risen from virtually €38,000 per automobile in 2019 to greater than €54,000 in 2021 as much as the tip of the third quarter, whereas Audi’s has elevated from greater than €46,000 to roughly €57,500, based on Stifel’s calculations.

Column chart of revenue per car (€s) showing luxury car revenues overtake pre-pandemic levels

BMW, which has managed the chips disaster higher than its friends, and misplaced much less manufacturing time total, skilled a extra modest rise, from simply over €36,000 per automobile in 2019 to greater than €38,000 in 2021 as much as the tip of the third quarter.

A lot of this has been achieved by producers prioritising the manufacturing of extra worthwhile fashions.

Gross sales at Mercedes, for instance, have been down 30 per cent within the three months to the tip of September, however revenues have been down simply 1 per cent.

Evaluation by Stifel reveals that in only one quarter, Mercedes’ earnings earlier than curiosity and taxes have been boosted by €1.4bn merely by higher pricing and by placing accessible chips into higher-end, higher-margin automobiles.

With buyers noticing the change, executives say they’ll proceed to pursue this technique even when provide constraints ease.

“There isn’t any strain to chase quantity,” Ola Kallenius, Mercedes boss, informed the Monetary Occasions this month, whereas Harald Wilhelm, chief monetary officer, pledged to “concentrate on the place the cash sits”.

“This overriding technique of not trying downwards in [market] segments the place we’re however trying upwards, that may proceed,” Kallenius added.

Luxurious carmakers have been additionally helped by document rises in second-hand automobile costs. This has not solely made shopping for new automobiles extra engaging, however has boosted the steadiness sheets of the premium producers’ finance arms, which run massive leasing companies.

“The automobiles are being returned [to the manufacturer] after 12-36 months and the re-sale worth is far increased than initially assumed,” mentioned Schwarz.

“From a short-term perspective, the dearth of recent automobiles right this moment will make used automobiles scarce for no less than the subsequent two years,” he added. “That ought to assist the pricing for brand new automobiles, too.”