Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler and Volvo Group posted unexpected profits, and European car sales rose for the first time this year, in a tentative sign that the pandemic gloom is lifting for the auto industry.
After coronavirus lockdowns in the second quarter, roads are filling up again with trucks, and cars are in demand as a safe mode of transport. While that’s fuelling optimism, it will be a struggle to maintain the momentum as a record surge in infections increases the risk of tighter restrictions on movement.
“The question is whether sales and higher margins can be sustained,” Ben Uglow, an analyst with Morgan Stanley, said in a note. “We think positioning is a little optimistic on this.”