1) Audi: 1,680,512 units sold in 2021
Indeed, the carmaker reported a whopping 57.5% increase in electric vehicles over 2020—that’s 87,894 electric cars. China was the biggest overall market (701,289 units), while in Europe, Audi UK (117,993 units) outsold France (50,383 units), Italy (55,005 units), and Spain (34,767 units), coming in second behind Germany (180,883 units). Audi USA shifted 196,038 cars last year.
2) Bentley: 14,659 units sold in 2021
Believe it or not, Bentley’s second record sales year, with a huge 31% increase in 2021 over 2020. And the best-selling Bentley last year was...that’s right, the Bentayga luxury SUV (one in five Bentaygas sold last year were hybrid, too).
The Americas and China bought just over half of all new Bentleys sold last year. The Bentayga accounted for 40% of sales, while the Conti GT took up 33%. If your head is already spinning from many numbers, go off and listen to a Conti GT3 at full chat.
3) BMW: 2,213,795 units sold in 2021
Amazingly, BMW reported a 9.1% increase in sales over 2020, which gave it its highest ever sales figures in history. As an entity including Mini and Rolls-Royce, BMW Group shifted just over 2.5 million cars worldwide.
BMW sold 103,855 fully-electric cars, a whopping 133.2% increase over 2020, and 163,542 M cars—a 13.4% increase—thanks to the new M3 and M4 (we won’t mention Ms X5 and X6).
4) BMW Motorrad: 194,261 units sold in 2021
BMW does bikes, too, and 2021 was also its best ever year, with 194,261 units sold—14.8% over 2020. The R1250 GS did 60,000 on its own.
We should be seeing results later this month, so check back soon.
No global figures as of yet, but Honda US reported a 8.9% increase over 2020’s sales, shifting 1,466,630 cars and trucks. In fact mostly trucks—812,000 of that 1.4 million. Woah.
7) Hyundai: 3,890,981 units sold in 2021
Hyundai’s announcement about its 2021 sales figures notes that it was achieved “despite the ongoing pandemic and supply chain issues.” And so a 3.9% increase over sales in 2020 doesn’t look too shabby.
Outside Korea, sales rose 7% (3,164,143 units), while in its home country, the figure actually dropped by 7.7% (726,838 units). Demand for the Ioniq 5 also “surged late in the year.” Good car, that.
8) Kia: 2,777,056 units sold in 2021
Another strong performance from the Koreans, with a 6.5% increase over 2020. The Sportage was the biggest selling Kia of 2021 (363,630 units), and the brand is targeting 3.15 million cars to shift this year. No pressure then, EV6.
9) Lamborghini: 8,405 units sold in 2021
Sant’Agata had its best ever year on record in 2021, with a 13% increase in sales over 2020’s numbers. And yet again, it’s the SUV that led the—ahem—charge: the Urus accounted for 5,021 Lambos sold last year, followed by the Huracan (2,586) and the Aventador (798). America was the biggest market, followed by China, Germany, UK, and Italy.
Still, if the Urus means we get more cars like the Huracan STO, we’re all in.
10) Mercedes-Benz: 2,093,476 units sold in 2021
So now you’ve just realized that of the big three German carmakers, BMW outsold both Audi and Mercedes-Benz, the latter squeaking in at just over two million cars sold globally. That’s 5% less than 2020 sales, a result of—again—the semiconductor shortage affecting the supply chain.
However, there were some strands to pull out. Much like its competitors, Merc saw a massive increase in sales of its electrified cars—227,458 units or a 69.3% increase over 2020. Sales of the S-Class rose by 40% (mostly thanks to China), G-Class sales also increased, and AMG shifted 145,979 cars, a rise of 16.7% over 2020.
Oh, and Maybach sold 15,730 cars, which is a 50.7% rise over 2020. In China alone, the brand shifting more than nine hundred a month...
11) Mini: 302,144 units sold in 2021
Another increase for a member of the BMW Group, with Mini reporting a 3.3% rise in sales over 2020. Just under a fifth of all Minis sold were electrified, we’re told, while one in 10 were fully electric.
No word yet, but watch this space…
13) Porsche: 301,915 units sold in 2021
A record-breaking year for Porsche: Stuttgart sold over 300,000 cars last year, an 11% increase over 2020. What pandemic, huh?
Naturally, it was the SUVs that shifted the most, the Macan taking the title of ‘best-selling Porsche of 2021’ with 88,362 units sold, followed by the Cayenne (83,071 units). The Taycan actually outsold the 911—the former with 41,296 units sold, versus 38,464 units for the rear-engined icon.
The 718 Boxster and Cayman twins totaled 20,502 sales, while the Panamera recorded 30,220 units. America was the market with the biggest gain over 2020 (22%), while around 40% of all Porsches sold in 2021 were electrified.
13) Rolls-Royce: 5,586 units sold in 2021
Guess what: Another BMW Group company, another record year: 2021 was Rolls-Royce’s best ever, the iconic British carmaker reporting a massive 48.7% increase over 2020. China, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific all reported record sales, while RR tells us the Ghost and the Cullinan—along with all the Black Badge cars—were the big hitters.
Oh, and bespoke commissions were at ‘record levels.’ Keep a keen eye out on the roads…
No word from the supergroup that comprises Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Citroen, DS, Fiat, Jeep, Lancia, Peugeot, and Vauxhall/Opel yet, so check back soon.
Nothing so far; check back soon.
16) Volkswagen: 4,896,900 units sold in 2021
Slight dip for VW in 2021, selling 8.1% fewer cars than it shifted in 2020 (5,328,100 units). The biggest hit was China—down ny 14.8%—though North America shifted 13% more (206,300 units).
The company pointed to the ongoing semiconductor shortage as an issue, though it noted an order backlog of 543,000 cars in Europe alone—of which 95,000 were ID models—that shows “demand for Volkswagen vehicles continues to be very high.”
As with the other big hitters on this page, sales of EVs saw a healthy rise—7.5% of total deliveries in 2021, up from 4% the year before—with the most popular car the ID.4. SUVs, of course, make up the lion’s share—40% of all VWs sold in 2021—which is up from the year before (34.8%).
A final line from VW: “Nevertheless, the Golf held onto its top position as the best-selling car in Germany in 2021.” Of course.
17) Volvo: 698,693 units sold in 2021
The headline figure is 5.6% year on year, but more interestingly, the number of people who bought a Volvo online in 2021 rose by 316% versus 2020. Probably something in this whole ‘Internet’ thing, huh?
Anyhoo, the best-selling Volvo of 2021 was the XC60 (215,635 units, up from 2020), followed by the XC40 (201,037 units) and the XC90 (108,231 units). And nearly 40% of all new Volvos sold in December 2021 were ‘Recharge’ models—electrified, basically.
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.
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