Global BMW sales came surging back during the first quarter of 2021, expanding 33.5% year-over-year thanks to 636,606 deliveries of BMW, MINI, and Rolls-Royce vehicles. The BMW brand was responsible for most of that sum, with deliveries growing 36.2% to 560,543 units. According to BMW board member Pieter Nota, it was a new first-quarter record: “We continued our growth momentum in the first quarter of this year, selling more vehicles than ever before in this period. This all-time high in sales underlines our ambitious growth targets for the year.”
All brands and sub-brands which fall under the BMW Group umbrella experienced sales growth during the first three months of the year, while deliveries also expanded in all major regions of the world. When breaking down BMW brand sales more specifically, the X vehicle lineup from X1 through X7 saw deliveries grow 36.5% to 246,068 units. The 5 Series posted an increase of 43%, while the 3 Series edged it out slightly with 43.6% growth. Sales of the BMW X lineup accounted for 44% of global BMW brand deliveries during the first quarter.
BMW Group Electrified sales more than doubled, increasing 129.8% to 70,207 units during the first quarter. The BMW iX3, i3, and Mini Cooper SE led BMW Group Electrified sales, and the lineup will soon be bolstered by the likes of the i4 and iX.
Sales of Mini brand vehicles were up 16.2%, with 74,683 units delivered. The growth represents what could be viewed as a reversal for the brand which has logged substantial sales declines in recent years. The Mini brand’s growth was attributed to success in China, in addition to strong selling models. These include the Mini Countryman, which saw sales grow 36%, the three-door Mini Cooper, which posted a gain of 23.4%, and, rather unexpectedly, John Cooper Works models, sales of which were up 19.1% during the first quarter. Electric vehicle sales accounted for 15% of Mini volume, or more than double that of the previous year according to BMW.
Rolls-Royce sales set a first-quarter record, with 1,380 vehicles delivered to customers, a 61.8% year-over-year increase. The first-quarter sales volume exceeded the previous record set in 2019, and is the largest in the 116-year history of the prestigious marque. Demand for models such as the new Ghost and Cullinan (pictured above in its natural habitat) was high, bespoke commissions are coming in at record pace, while growth in markets such as the U.S., China, and Asia Pacific was also a driving factor.
BMW Motorrad sales experienced a best-ever first quarter, with deliveries growing by 22.5% to 42,592 units. The growth is attributed to a “strong product offering” and a “variety of different models,” according to BMW.
BMW M deliveries were also robust, with unit sales increasing 21% year-over-year to 37,896 during the first quarter. Primary growth drivers in terms of full M models included the X5 and X6 M, while M Performance models like thew M440i coupe were responsible in even greater numbers.
BMW Group sales expanded 8.3% in Europe with 238,761 deliveries. Sales in BMW’s home market of Germany were flat owing to a decline of 0.3% and 67,804 deliveries. Unit sales of 95,961 took places in the Americas, an increase of 17.3% for the region, which was largely driven by North American BMW sales, which were up 20.1%, with 77,718 deliveries. Asia saw the largest growth, with 286,968 deliveries representing a 76.4% increase. China was responsible for most of that, with 229,748 deliveries and staggering growth of 97.3%, but it’s important to remember that China was under strict lockdown during the first quarter of last year in response to the coronavirus outbreak.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]