Mercedes-Benz Reports Reduced Earnings in Q3 2023, Here’s Why

Mercedes-Benz cited higher inflation, supply chain-related costs, and a 329-million-euro foreign exchange setback, among the factors that shrank its Q3 2023 earnings.

Luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz Group AG (ETR: MBG) has revealed that its earnings took a hit in the third quarter (Q3). According to a Thursday announcement by the firm, this reflects the current state of the market, which it described as “subdued”.

Although its forecast for the full year is 12%-14%, the latest report means that Mercedes-Benz now expects the adjusted return on sales of its cars to lean toward the lower end.

Mercedes-Benz Performance in Q3 2023

According to the luxury car maker, many factors contributed to the drop. But one major reason is that it saw reduced deliveries in the last quarter. And it appears that the low deliveries are a result of serious price competition from its rivals, particularly in the electric vehicle department.

For context, the likes of Tesla and Ford have been slashing prices all year long in a bid to raise demand. Mercedes-Benz on the other hand, chose to stick with increasing its margins rather than boost sales volume.

The automaker also cited higher inflation, supply chain-related costs, and a 329-million-euro foreign exchange setback, among the factors that shrank its third-quarter earnings.

Interestingly, this further proves the point that Porsche noted in its earnings report on Tuesday, that macroeconomic conditions also affect luxury.

Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) across the Mercedes-Benz Group fell by 6.8% to $5.1 billion, while revenue plunged 1.4% to $39.5 billion. Its car department saw a 12.4% adjusted return on sales, very close to the lower end of the annual forecast.

On the bright side, Mercedes-Benz Vans posted a strong quarter after seeing a 44% rise in EBIT to $759 million, with an adjusted return on sales of 15%. However, car revenue did fall 3.8% due to low orders/deliveries as the company maintained its average selling price.

About the final quarter of the year, Mercedes-Benz has said it does not expect much difference from what it saw in the first three quarters. That is, in terms of rate of sales. So, it sees no need to adjust its full-year sales target of flat growth, the company concluded.

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Mayowa Adebajo

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