Business Brief

Tesla, BMW, luxury autos post record sales despite chip shortage

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Did buying a car feel like competing in The Hunger Games during the pandemic? Because of a global chip shortage, manufacturers couldn’t make enough cars to meet demand and sales for most new cars plummeted in 2021.

But in a surprising twist, luxury cars bucked that trend. Expensive goods got a boost from buyers who had money to burn during the pandemic, especially with travel limited. Five luxury car brands posting the biggest sales growth included:

#5: Porsche

Porsche sold over 300,000 cars in 2021, up 11% worldwide compared with the year before. Compare that performance to Porsche’s parent company, Volkswagen, which could barely keep its factories operating over the chip shortage. VW’s sales fell over 8% the same year.

#4: Bentley

Sales at Bentley, another luxury brand owned by VW, surged 31% on the year. The sales chief told the Wall Street Journal Bentley got all the chips it needed because VW’s model is to prioritize more profitable cars. Now it’s starting to make sense why the two luxury brands did better than the bread and butter models.

#3: BMW

German-made BMW secured its spot for the third year in a row as the top-selling luxury brand in the world. Sales last year grew 21% in the U.S. alone. The company credits a young and attractive product line-up for drawing in more customers than ever before.

#2: Tesla

This is the only American-made brand on the list. Tesla shockingly sidestepped some of the chip shortage impacts in 2021. It’s surprising because electric cars require more chips than engine-powered vehicles. Vehicle deliveries surged 87% in 2021, Tesla’s fastest pace in years.

#1: Rolls-Royce

Pop-culture king Rolls-Royce reigned supreme in 2021. The pricey ride had its best sales year in its century-plus history, up 49% from the year before. The super-luxury cars start at around $300,000, and the company said its buyers are younger than ever.

SIMONE DEL ROSARIO: DID BUYING A CAR FEEL LIKE THAT DURING THE PANDEMIC? BECAUSE OF A GLOBAL CHIP SHORTAGE, MANUFACTURERS COULDN’T MAKE ENOUGH CARS TO MEET DEMAND AND SALES PLUMMETED. 

BUT YOU KNOW WHAT BUCKED THE TREND? LUXURY CARS. HERE ARE FIVE BRANDS MORE DRIVERS THAN EVER SPLURGED ON IN THIS WEEK’S FIVE FOR FRIDAY.

PORSCHE PULLS INTO OUR FIVE SPOT, SELLING OVER 300,000 CARS IN 2021. THAT’S UP 11% WORLDWIDE! COMPARE THAT TO PORSCHE’S PARENT COMPANY, VOLKSWAGEN, WHICH COULD BARELY KEEP ITS FACTORIES OPERATING OVER THE CHIP SHORTAGE. V-W’S SALES FELL OVER 8% THE SAME YEAR.

AT NUMBER FOUR IS BENTLEY, ALSO OWNED BY V-W. BENTLEY SALES SURGED 31% ON THE YEAR. THE SALES CHIEF SAID THEY GOT ALL THE CHIPS THEY NEEDED, BECAUSE V-W’S MODEL IS TO PRIORITIZE MORE PROFITABLE CARS. MAKES SENSE NOW WHY THE TWO LUXURY BRANDS DID BETTER THAN THE BREAD AND BUTTER MODELS.

COMING IN AT NUMBER THREE, GERMAN-MADE BMW, SECURING ITS SPOT FOR THE THIRD YEAR IN A ROW AS THE TOP-SELLING LUXURY BRAND IN THE WORLD. SALES GREW 21% IN THE U-S ALONE. THE COMPANY CREDITS A YOUNG AND ATTRACTIVE PRODUCT LINE-UP FOR DRAWING IN MORE CUSTOMERS THAN EVER BEFORE.

OUR NUMBER TWO SPOT IS THE ONLY AMERICAN-MADE BRAND ON THE LIST. TESLA SHOCKINGLY SIDESTEPPED SOME OF THE CHIP SHORTAGE IMPACTS… SURPRISING BECAUSE ELECTRIC CARS REQUIRE MORE CHIPS. VEHICLE DELIVERIES ON THE YEAR SURGED 87% IN 2021, ITS FASTEST PACE IN YEARS.

ROLLING UP TO OUR TOP SPOT THIS WEEK, POP-CULTURE KING ROLLS ROYCE REIGNS SUPREME. THE PRICEY RIDE HAD ITS BEST SALES YEAR IN ITS CENTURY-PLUS HISTORY, UP 49% FROM THE YEAR BEFORE. THE SUPER-LUXURY CARS START AT AROUND $300,000, AND THE COMPANY SAYS YOU’LL BE SURPRISED TO KNOW ITS BUYERS ARE YOUNGER THAN EVER.

WHAT BENEFITTED ALL THESE BRANDS IN THE PANDEMIC: YOUNGER WEALTHY PEOPLE WITH MONEY TO BURN AND NOWHERE TO TRAVEL.

I ONLY HAVE ONE OF THOSE PROBLEMS SO I’LL SEE YOU RIGHT HERE IN NEW YORK ON MONDAY. I’M SDR AND IT’S JUST BUSINESS. HAVE A GOOD WEEKEND.

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Did buying a car feel like competing in The Hunger Games during the pandemic? Because of a global chip shortage, manufacturers couldn’t make enough cars to meet demand and sales for most new cars plummeted in 2021.

But in a surprising twist, luxury cars bucked that trend. Expensive goods got a boost from buyers who had money to burn during the pandemic, especially with travel limited. Five luxury car brands posting the biggest sales growth included:

#5: Porsche

Porsche sold over 300,000 cars in 2021, up 11% worldwide compared with the year before. Compare that performance to Porsche’s parent company, Volkswagen, which could barely keep its factories operating over the chip shortage. VW’s sales fell over 8% the same year.

#4: Bentley

Sales at Bentley, another luxury brand owned by VW, surged 31% on the year. The sales chief told the Wall Street Journal Bentley got all the chips it needed because VW’s model is to prioritize more profitable cars. Now it’s starting to make sense why the two luxury brands did better than the bread and butter models.

#3: BMW

German-made BMW secured its spot for the third year in a row as the top-selling luxury brand in the world. Sales last year grew 21% in the U.S. alone. The company credits a young and attractive product line-up for drawing in more customers than ever before.

#2: Tesla

This is the only American-made brand on the list. Tesla shockingly sidestepped some of the chip shortage impacts in 2021. It’s surprising because electric cars require more chips than engine-powered vehicles. Vehicle deliveries surged 87% in 2021, Tesla’s fastest pace in years.

#1: Rolls-Royce

Pop-culture king Rolls-Royce reigned supreme in 2021. The pricey ride had its best sales year in its century-plus history, up 49% from the year before. The super-luxury cars start at around $300,000, and the company said its buyers are younger than ever.

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