An employee leaves the Volkswagen factory in Mexico when it shut in March due to the coronavirus. Picture: REUTERS
An employee leaves the Volkswagen factory in Mexico when it shut in March due to the coronavirus. Picture: REUTERS

Supply chain disruptions and factory closures from the Covid-19 pandemic has caused the market capitalisation of the world’s five leading automobile manufacturers to plunge by $63bn this year.

This is according to data from BuyShares.co.uk, which reports that the combined market cap of VW, Toyota, Daimler, Ford and General Motors reduced from $426.5bn in December 2019 to $363.5bn this month.

The world's largest automobile manufacturer, the Volkswagen Group, managed to reduce the effects of Covid-19 in the first half of the year, but sales revenue decreased by 23.2% since January, reaching €96.1bn at the end of the second quarter of the year. Until the end of June, the Volkswagen Group reported a significant year-on-year decline of 27.4% in its deliveries to 3.9-million vehicles.

Frank Witter, a member of the VW Group Board of Management responsible for Finance and IT, said: “The first half of 2020 was one of the most challenging in the history of our company due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Thanks to the great team effort, we have gradually been able to ramp up operations within the group and, up until now, have steadily managed to navigate through this unprecedented crisis.”

At the end of December, the market capitalisation of the world's leading automobile manufacturer stood at $87.6bn, revealed Yahoo Finance data. Since then, this figure dropped by $17.7bn, reaching $69.9bn this month.

Toyota, the world’s second largest automaker, lost $15.4bn in market capitalisation amid the Covid-19 outbreak, falling from $196.9bn in December 2019 to $181.5bn. The company's financial results revealed the smallest quarterly profit in nine years as the coronavirus pandemic halved its car sales.

Third-largest Daimler saw its market cap plunge by $9.1bn in the past eight months, falling from $52.8bn in December 2019 to $43.7bn, according to BuyShares.co.uk. Daimler also reported a substantial Q2 2020 loss due to the sharp fall in sales caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

In the second quarter of the year, Daimler's total unit sales plunged by 34% to 541,800 passenger cars and commercial vehicles.

The combined market capitalisation of US carmakers Ford and General Motors, respectively the fourth and fifth largest in the world, plunged by $20.8bn since the pandemic, Ford from $37.9bn to $27.5bn last week, and GM from $51.2bn to $40.8bn.

Ford was already struggling before the pandemic hit and was in the midst of an $11bn restructuring plan to control costs and roll out new vehicles, says Buyshares.co.uk. The virus forced the company to close US factories for more than seven weeks during the second quarter. Nevertheless, the company reported a $1.12bn net profit in Q2, despite the virus.

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