BMW navigates chip crisis to book higher profits

German luxury carmaker BMW said Wednesday that it was able to book a significant increase in profits in the third quarter, despite a global shortage in computer chips plaguing much of the industry.

“The BMW group continued to demonstrate its high level of profitability in the period from July to September 2021, with revenues, profit before tax and net profit all at record levels for a third quarter,” the top-of-the-range carmaker said in a statement.

BMW said its net profit rose by 42 percent to 2.6 billion euros ($3.0 billion) in the period from July to September, even as unit sales declined by 12 percent to 593,200 vehicles.

Like other carmakers, BMW deliveries to customers were impacted by shortages of semiconductors, key electronic components used in both conventional and electric vehicles.

And the chip shortage is expected to “remain an issue beyond 2021”, said chief financial officer Nicolas Peter.

BMW attributed its “strong performance” in the third quarter to “favourable product mix factors and positive pricing effects for new vehicles, as well as stable selling prices of pre-owned vehicles.”

After already lifting its full-year targets at the end of September, BMW reaffirmed that group profits would be “significantly higher” in 2021 than in 2020, while car sales would see a “solid year-on-year increase”.

Over the first nine months of the year, BMW said it more than doubled deliveries of fully electric vehicles since last year to close to 60,000 units.

The carmaker expects to deliver “around two million fully electric vehicles” to customers by 2025 as part of its transition away from conventional fossil fuel-powered vehicles.

US sanctions crypto ‘laundering’ service Tornado

The United States placed sanctions Monday on Tornado Cash, a leading “crypto mixer” for transactions in virtual currency that US officials describe as a hub for laundering stolen funds, including by North Korean hackers.