LUXURY: BMW retains American crown for third consecutive year

The old guard of the luxury segment now faces a serious threat from Tesla.

According to the Automotive News Research & Data Center, Tesla shipped about 313,400 cars and crossovers to the United States last year, up 66% from 2020. That would put Tesla in second place for the year. But Tesla doesn’t provide a breakdown by region, making estimates difficult.

However, vehicle registration data – an indicator of sales – paints a worrying picture for German luxury brands.

Tesla topped Mercedes-Benz for third place in luxury vehicle registrations in the United States in the first nine months of 2021, according to data from Experian. Tesla totaled 230,855 vehicle registrations in the first three quarters of 2020, less than 29,000 units less than BMW’s registrations at the time.

Swedish automaker Volvo’s sales in the United States jumped 11% last year, boosted by demand for electrified vehicles. Volvo delivered 122,173 units in 2020.

Sales of the brand’s Recharge models – vehicles equipped with fully electric or plug-in hybrid powertrains – more than tripled, with 22,820 cars representing 18.7% of total sales in the United States.

Despite the chip crisis, Porsche Cars North America had its best year ever, fueled by strong demand for the battery-powered Taycan. The sports car brand delivered 70,025 vehicles, an increase of 22% from last year and 14% from the previous record set in 2019.

Taycan’s sales more than doubled last year and nearly overtook Porsche’s flagship 911.

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