Global BMW Group sales grew 8.4% during 2021, with deliveries of 2,521,525 units taking place during the year. The BMW brand was, of course, responsible for the bulk of those, with sales of 2,213,795 units occurring during 2021, a year-over-year increase of 9.1%. The momentum slowed a bit during the fourth quarter, with 589,301 deliveries of BMW, Mini, and Rolls-Royce vehicles translating to a year-over-year decrease of 14.2%, while the BMW brand also posted a decrease of 15.1%, thanks to 510,727 units sold. Nevertheless, 2021 was still the best year in BMW’s history, and the automaker has a positive outlook going forward. Further highlights include a new record for BMW Group vehicles with fully-electric drivetrains, thanks to 103,855 deliveries equating to a 133.2% increase, while BMW M also posted the best numbers in its history with unit sales of 163,542 and growth of 13.4% over 2020.
“Despite supply bottlenecks and the continuing coronavirus pandemic: We achieved a strong sales performance in 2021, thanks to a powerful operational performance and stellar product line-up. Our brands reported numerous all-time best sales results around the globe – spearheaded by the BMW brand, which is number one in the global premium segment,” said Pieter Nota, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for customer, brands, sales. “With more than 100,000 fully-electric vehicles sold last year, ramping up electromobility was our clear focus,” Nota continued.
BMW Group Brand Sales
Sales of BMW Group Electrified vehicles, a term which includes all BMW and Mini models with electrified drivetrains, both hybrids and electric vehicles, increased 70.4% during 2021, with 328,316 units sold. During the fourth quarter, BMW Group Electrified sales defied the trends felt by other other BMW brands and product categories, with deliveries increasing 26.9% to 96,741. During 2021, 13% of BMW and Mini vehicles sold came with an electrified drivetrain, while they accounted for 23% of sales in Europe. BMW sold 37,939 units of the iX3 electric SAV last year, meaning roughly one out of every ten X3s delivered was fully-electric. Although the sun is about to set on BMW’s groundbreaking i3, the automaker still sold 28,216 of them in 2021, an increase of 5.4 over the prior year.
The success of BMW Group Electrified in the fourth quarter took place at the same time that the BMW brand posted a decline of 15.1%, with 510,727 units sold. The same occurred with BMW M, which saw sales shrink 7% during the fourth quarter to 40,540 units, Mini, with an 8.5% loss thanks to 77,306 deliveries, and BMW Motorrad, with a 5.1% decrease to 37,652. All of these brands, subsidiaries, and segments were positive for the year though, with Mini sales growing 3.3% in 2021 to 302,144 units sold, BMW Motorrad carding record growth of 14.8% thanks to 194,261 units, and Rolls-Royce breaking yet another record for sales in its 117-year existence. Rolls-Royce deliveries grew 48.7% last year to 5,586, while the fourth quarter delivery total of 1,268 translates to an expansion of 14.8%. Demand for the ultra-luxury automaker’s products is so high, delivery for current Rolls-Royce orders is said to stretch into the fourth quarter of this year.
Breaking things down further, Mini, which will be an all-electric brand by the early 2030s, sold more electric vehicles than ever before. One out of every ten Mini vehicles sold during 2021 was the electric Mini SE, and sales of 34,851 units translates to an increase of 98.2%. Rolls-Royce will be going all-electric a bit sooner than Mini, starting in 2030. The first all-electric Rolls-Royce is due to arrive in the form of the Spectre, during the fourth quarter of 2023.
Regional BMW Group Sales
Looking at the world by regions and countries, the BMW Group posted encouraging results for 2021 even though sales declined substantially during the fourth quarter. In Europe—BMW’s second largest regional market—deliveries grew 3.9% to 948,087 last year, but shrunk 15.8% to 223,167 during the fourth quarter. BMW’s home market of Germany posted a decline of 6.8% during 2021 thanks to unit sales of 267,917, while the country saw sales slide 26.4% in the fourth quarter to 62,745. The Americas witnessed growth of 18.9% thanks to 450,062 deliveries, but the region was down 5.2% in the fourth quarter with 120,838 deliveries. In the U.S., BMW NA sales jumped 19.5% year-over-year from 2020 to 2021, with 366,574 units sold, but posted a decline of 6% with 100,891 units sold for the fourth quarter. Asia, BMW’s largest regional market, was up 8.2% for the year with 1,065,141 units sold, but down 17.1% during the final quarter of the year, with 232,222 deliveries. China, BMW’s largest national market, was up 8.9% year-over-year thanks to 846,237 deliveries, but down 18.9% during the fourth quarter, with unit sales of 176,600.
BMW Remains Top Luxury Automaker In U.S. For Third Straight Year
According to BMW, the automaker’s 2021 sales performance allowed it to once again capture the top spot as the world’s leading manufacturer in the premium segment. One place where this was particularly true is the U.S., where BMW beat perennial rivals Mercedes-Benz and Lexus by a wide margin, and for the third year in a row. In 2021, the BMW brand sold 336,644 vehicles in the U.S., an increase of 20.8% over 2020. Lexus came in second behind BMW with unit sales of approximately 304,500 vehicles during the year, while Mercedes-Benz placed third according to Bloomberg, with 276,100 deliveries in in 2021, a figure that does not include Daimler’s commercial vehicles and trucks.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]