Automakers Had Record-Breaking Sales In 2021 Despite… Everything

Pandemic, chip shortage, rising prices… nothing could put a damper on car sales.

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Automakers Had Record-Breaking Sales In 2021 Despite… Everything ©Automakers Had Record-Breaking Sales In 2021 Despite… Everything

That’s right, after everything that went down, so many companies still moved a record number of units. But how?

Welcome to Headlight. This is a daily news feature that lights up one current event in the car world and breaks it down by three simple subheadings: What Happened, Why It Matters, and What to Look for Next. Look for it in the morning (Eastern time) every weekday.

What Happened

As tweeted by Motor1, five luxury brands saw record-breaking vehicle sales in 2021: BMW, Lamborghini, Bentley, Rolls Royce, and Porsche. For Bentley, it was the second year in a row of record-breaking sales figures, despite 2020 being far less kind to humanity than last year.

BMW sold an astonishing 2,213,795 vehicles globally, making it the world’s top-selling luxury brand. Comparatively, Rolls moved 5,586 units, which pales in comparison, but is still a 49 percent increase over 2020. Porsche saw a healthy figure itself, selling 301,915 teeny-prancing-horse-equipped models, with the Taycan EV outselling their flagship 911 sports car by nearly 3,000 units. Even Lamborghini had its time in the hot Bolognese sun: 8,405 total units solid, of which 5,021 were Uruses. Or Uri?

Why It Matters

Between growing markets’ increasing thirst for luxury goods, and the rich being generally shielded from the ill effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, none of this is all that surprising. Man, especially the Urus’ sales figures: if that many people can plop down over 200 large for such an excessive beast, that’s proof that plenty of people were doing just fine in 2021.

Though, I’m still trying to wrap my head around this happening during our global economy’s shortage of crucial materials, such as microchips.

Another point that David Benard points out in this short report on Yahoo! News, the well-to-do traveled less in 2021, thus they had more money to throw at personal transportation. Also, diversification of vehicle lineups improved mass appeal. The main reason for so many luxury brands seeing record vehicle sales is because they came out with their very own version of an SUV, which we all know is the ticket to volume in this day and age. The Bentayga was the top-selling Bentley body, accounting for 40% of its sales, and the Urus was Lamborghini’s title shot.

Another upside to these increased sales is presumably more jobs. According to Motor1, Rolls Royce hired more apprentices than ever before: 37 are set to join the brand in September of this year. OK, that’s not really a whole lot of people, but it is an indication that business is good, and must be supported by more personnel.

What To Look for Next

If you’re interested in a career in the corporate side of the automotive industry, you might consider altering to your LinkedIn perusing accordingly. Also, with more money in OEMs’ coffers, vehicle lineups might see more options and extras than ever. And possibly new models, too.

When it comes to BMW, Porsche, and Lambo, let’s hope this translates to a stronger commitment to enthusiast offerings and motorsports. When there’s money to throw around, brands are usually happy to splash more cash at enthusiasm.

I’m also generally curious how sales figures will change once the economy improves, inflation hopefully calms down, and materials shortages are remedied. If more people have more walking around money, some of these historically exclusive brands could become less exclusive.

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