Renault said on Friday it would cut output by 500,000 cars this year, more than double its previous forecast due to a crippling global semiconductor shortage, but maintained its profit outlook helped by higher car prices and cost cuts.
During a presentation to analysts, Renault Chief Financial Officer Clotlide Delbos said the carmaker’s visibility on the chip shortage in the fourth quarter was “still very poor because the information coming from suppliers is very unreliable.”
Delbos said the chip shortage should ease a little by the end of the year with the end of a COVID-19 lockdown in Malaysia, central to global chip supplies, but said it would remain constrained throughout much of 2022.
When asked about other raw materials, she said Renault was not seeing shortages but was facing price increases.
The shortage of chips, used in everything from brake sensors to power steering to entertainment systems, has led automakers around the world to cut or suspend production, pushing up vehicle prices.
Like its peers, Renault has focused production on more profitable models.
The French carmaker’s gloomy forecast is more than double the 220,000 units forecast in early September and represents about 13 per cent of the 3.75 million vehicles Renault sold in 2019 before the pandemic.
Sources close to the firm told Reuters this week production losses would be much higher than previously forecast.
The company’s shares were down 1.7 per cent at 0831 GMT, the biggest faller on the Paris blue-chip CAC-40 stock market, which was up 1 per cent .