In a year throttled by supply chain shortages, BMW outmaneuvered rivals Lexus and Mercedes to claim the U.S. luxury sales crown for the third straight year.
BMW appears to have fended off — if only barely — a surging Tesla. The Texas-based EV producer barreled toward 1 million in global sales last year, up 87 percent from 2020.
Overall, the U.S. luxury market outpaced the broader industry last year.
U.S. luxury sales climbed 13 percent in 2021, compared with a 3.3 percent gain for the overall industry. Luxury brands delivered 2.2 million vehicles, accounting for a record 14.7 percent of total U.S. light-vehicle sales.
The BMW brand delivered 336,644 sedans and crossovers in the U.S. last year, on par with pre-pandemic 2019 sales. Robust demand for crossovers fueled the brand's 21 percent surge last year.
"We had strong end-to-end operational performance — from procurement to sales," BMW's global sales chief Pieter Nota told Automotive News this week.
BMW also deftly negotiated the global semiconductor shortage to ensure retailers had product to sell.
"We had the right quantities [of semiconductors] committed early on for 2021," Nota said. "We have entered into a direct agreement with chipmakers to secure several million semiconductors per year."