Sales for BMW NA expanded from 306,870 units to 366,574 during 2021, a 19.5% increase over 2020. The news comes despite a decrease in deliveries of 6% for the fourth quarter, from 107,299 to 100,891. The BMW brand saw sales grow 20.8% year-over-year from deliveries of 278,732 in 2020 to 336,644 in 2021, while the Mini brand posted growth of 6.4% for the year, from 28,138 units to 29,930. Deliveries were down across the board during the fourth quarter, however, with the BMW brand carding a decline of 5.8% from unit sales of 98,750 to 93,031, and Mini weathering a decrease of 8.1%, from 8,549 units to 7,860 year-over-year.
Sales of BMW passenger cars, a term which encompasses all of the conventional models from the 2 Series through the 8 Series, along with the X1, X2, and remaining units of the i3 and i8, grew 18.3% from 2020 to 2021, with deliveries expanding from 132,580 to 156,804. BMW light truck sales, however, a term which includes the X3 through the X7, many of which are built at BMW’s largest global production facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina, accounted for 60% of North American sales, and expanded 23% year-over-year, from 146,152 deliveries in 2020 to 179,840 in 2021. BMW passenger car sales were down 10.9% during the fourth quarter, from 43,746 to 38,981, while light truck sales decreased just 1.7%, from 98,750 to 93,031.
“We are proud of the success we achieved in another unusual year and look forward to building on that as we accelerate our electric vehicle strategy in 2022,” offered Sebastian Mackensen, president and CEO, BMW of North America. “I would like to thank our dealers for their flexibility and perseverance, and our customers for their loyalty to our brand as we work to meet the strong demand for BMW vehicles in the U.S.”
Of all the BMW models sold in the U.S., two out of the three most popular are manufactured domestically at BMW Group Plant Spartanburg. These include the X3, which has been the most popular BMW model on an almost perpetual basis since its arrival for the 2018 model year. X3 sales shrunk 7.1% year-over-year during the fourth quarter from 23,541 to 21,865, but expanded 26.6% from 59,941 during 2020 to 75,858 in 2021. The X5 is the second-most popular BMW model available in the U.S., and the game-changing SAV posted growth year-over-year growth of 1.5% during the fourth quarter, with deliveries expanding from 18,657 to 18,945, and an increase of 19.9% for 2021, thanks to sales jumping from 50,642 in 2020 to 60,725 last year.
Rather appropriately, the 3 Series placed third, with 2021 sales decreasing 4.9% from 12,722 to 12,094 during the fourth quarter. Deliveries of the 3 Series were positive for 2021 however, growing 19.3% from 41,442 to 49,461. In terms of the margins, the 4 Series posted the strongest growth, with deliveries flourishing 71.7% year-over-year during the fourth quarter from 3,862 to 6,632, and 141.6% over last year, from 9,495 to 22,937. The recent success of the 4 Series can be attributed to the first generation giving way to the second during 2021, with BMW introducing coupe, convertible, and Gran Coupé variations last year and in 2020.
Mini sales decreased across the board during the fourth quarter of 2021 with the exception of the Clubman, which posted growth of 10.1% year-over-year from 712 units to 784. Nevertheless, all Mini models saw positive growth in 2021, with the Cooper convertible leading the way at 11.2% thanks to deliveries increasing from 3,039 to 3,380, followed by the Countryman with an increase of 11.1% originating from sales of 9,394 in 2020 to 10,440 in 2021.
Fourth-quarter BMW CPO sales dropped 10.2% year-over-year from 25,811 to 23,180, but stayed positive for the entirety of 2021, growing 1.1% from 108,593 to 109,743. Mini CPO sales decreased 20.9% during the fourth quarter from 2,175 to 1,720, but expanded 10.9% year-over-year in 2021 from 9,490 in 2020 to 10,527.
Demand for the BMW i4 and iX, the brand’s first electric vehicles since the i3, has thus far been strong enough to prompt potential additional production shifts and hiring for 2022. According to BMW CEO Oliver Zipse, both models are sold out for months.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]