The stocks of German luxury automakers, including Mercedes, Porsche, and BMW, have remained strong in recent months despite numerous disruptions.
Say what you will about Tesla stock, but over the past year, the one thing it has been, is volatile. The Tesla stock observes multiples of the movements of other legacy automakers, but it hasn’t been the only one that has felt the ebbs and flows of 2022. Other automakers, including Ford and GM, have seen massive falls in stock value over the same timeframe. But simultaneously, luxury German automakers have mysteriously not seen the same rapid declines in stock prices, some (Porsche) even increasing in value over the same timeframe.
Looking at the stock offerings from Mercedes (XETRA: MBG), Porsche (XETRA: P911), and BMW (XETRA: BMW) on the German stock exchange in Frankfurt, the companies’ respective stabilities are immediately visible over the past year.
Each of the stocks (save Porsche) showed a substantial drop at the beginning of the year, likely influenced by the invasion of Ukraine, but in the final six months of the year, each stock offerings nearly wholly recovered. This is despite the near-constant supply shortages that have plagued (and continue to plague) the auto industry, notably in Europe.
There are likely a couple of factors that have led to these stocks’ resilience, particularly Porsche whop has seen a slight increase in value since its IPO in Q4 of last year. Foremost being earnings, each company has reported strong earnings throughout the year, motivated by continued strong sales growth.
Most recently, the KBA reported that Mercedes grew sales in Germany throughout the year by over 8%, making them the second-largest automaker in the country. And while Mercedes has not announced earnings for Q4 of 2022, its Q3 earnings/production report was a massive success; growing sales compared to the prior year, maintaining its uniquely strong profit margins, and continuing to expand EV offerings globally; giving the business a clear direction forward.
Porsche has seen similar success. Despite Volkswagen Group reporting less than stellar sales and revenue numbers, notably due to a weakening of sales from its Volkswagen brand, the same could not be said for its top-tier Porsche brand. In fact, the company has been so bold and cavalier that it has announced that it will be joining Formula 1 in the coming season, a substantial investment that may have even emboldened investors.
As for BMW, while it has not announced a new Formula 1 endeavor nor has it seen significant sales growth in its typically strong German market, it has been able to keep sales higher than many anticipated, especially considering the auto group’s manufacturing base in China. And outside of German sales, the company has witnessed continued strength in the American market, particularly for its newest electric offerings.
Finally, a more long-term investment strategy from German investors may be keeping each of these brands afloat during this tumultuous time. Each of these companies has a prime opportunity for growth as they move towards electrification. And while this new endeavor has required each company to take on sizable debt, the success of new EV models (Mercedes EQS, Porsche Taycan, and BMW i4) has proven the investment worthwhile. It’s no wonder investors see the brands as a safe bet going forward.
Perhaps the prominent lesson that can be learned from the stalwart German companies is a renewed focus on automaker fundamentals instead of mysterious jumps and falls in stock prices. None of the above brands could claim that 2022 was an easy year for them, but with a positive, forward-looking c-suite and group of investors, each of these companies has benefited.
William is not invested in any of the above companies directly but is invested in ETFs that include all of the above companies.
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