The group Volkswagen reported its lowest sales figure in 10 years in 2021, with 8.9 million deliveries, the automaker reported on Wednesday, which said it expects supply chain conditions to remain volatile in the first half of this year.
On the other hand, the luxury car manufacturer BMW saw record deliveries of 2.21 million BMW brand vehicles, a success attributed in part to its ability to adapt to problems in the supply chain.
The brand Volkswagen saw sales decline 8.1% to just under 4.9m units, with the biggest drop in China at 14.8%, although sales of battery electric vehicles in the country quadrupled.
“In unusually difficult circumstances, Volkswagen achieved a satisfactory sales result,” said sales and marketing chief Klaus Zellmer. “However, the huge effects of the chips on production could not be fully offset.”
Daimler reported on Friday that sales of Mercedes-Benz fell 5% in 2021, losing its crown to BMW for the first time in five years as the world’s best-selling premium automaker.
Premium automakers’ results were weakest in Europe, where the BMW and Mini brands posted growth of just 3.9% and Mercedes-Benz a drop of 11.2 percent.
North America was a strong market for all three. Mercedes-Benz registered a growth of 0.4% in the United States and BMW of 19.5%, while Volkswagen registered a growth of 13% in the region.
Sales of hybrid or fully electric vehicles increased across the sector, most notably in Europe, where they made up between a fifth and a quarter of deliveries, but remained a small proportion of total global sales.