2021 was, for most people, a long and difficult year. A year of political tensions, ever-shifting pandemic responses, and bean-related parents led to many considering it the worst year in their lives. Consider the other side, however, the silver lining: A few luxury automakers made bank.
2 / 12
Porsche broke the 300,000-sale mark in 2021, its first time ever doing so since the brand was founded. About 40 percent of those deliveries were electrified, but only about 14 percent were the all-electric Taycan — though it still outsold the Boxster, Cayman, and 911.
3 / 12
Lexus had a strong 2021 in the U.S., with a nearly 11 percent increase in sales over 2020. Incredibly, that increase only brought the brand up to 304,476 sales — just over 2,500 more than Porsche. You would think Lexus would have broader appeal, and move more units accordingly, but you’d be wrong — the thirst for luxury-branded SUVs exists across the brand-image spectrum. Porsche may be exclusive and performance-oriented while Lexus is open, elegant, and reliable, but at the end of the day they sell the same number of cars.
4 / 12
Both Lexus and Porsche, however, lose to BMW and its nearly 21 percent increase in sales over its 2020 sales. The race is still tight, but BMW’s 336,644 U.S. sales in 2021 are a clear lead over its luxury competitors. Once the company releases its electric SUV made out of Kindles, that lead may be cemented forever — or at least until Lexus builds an RX out of smart lightbulbs.
5 / 12
Speaking of competitors in the just-over-300,000-sales bracket, Mercedes-Benz sits just below BMW with 329,574 units moved in 2021. MB USA barely edged out its 2020 results, a mere 1.1 percent increase, but many of those new sales were performance models — Mercedes-AMG sold over 11 percent more cars than the prior year.
6 / 12
If you had to guess, who sells more cars in a given year: Lamborghini or Bentley? You’re certainly more likely to see a Lambo at a cars and coffee, or on YouTube, but Bentley Bentaygas prowl upscale shopping mall parking garages in packs far larger than the Urus could ever dream. Lock in your answer yet? As it turns out, Bentley outsells Lamborghini pretty handily — 14,659 sales compared to 8,405 in 2021. Turns out rich people like comfort and amenities. Who knew?
7 / 12
Of course, you can’t talk about Lamborghini without mentioning its mass-market cousin. Audi’s U.S. sales grew 5 percent in 2021, up to nearly 200,000 units sold. In other words, despite the price gap, you’re about 50% more likely to see a Porsche on your commute than anything wearing four rings — and you’re over ten times as likely to see a 911 as an A7.
8 / 12
Everything seemed right for Aston Martin in 2021: A new SUV hitting dealer lots, a new Bond movie hitting theaters. Even the Valkyrie started making its way to customers last year. That momentum paid off for the company, which saw an 82 percent increase in sales between 2020 and 2021. Since the company hasn’t released its official year-end report beyond that percent-increase tease, there’s no way to prove that the jump wasn’t due to Aston secretly selling thousands of Valkyries to Bond fans around the world. Look, I can dream, and I want them to come up on AutoTrader for reasonable prices someday.
9 / 12
Rolls set an all-time sales record of 5,586 vehicles in 2021, with the company’s CEO explicitly crediting the pandemic for the success. While he claimed the sales were due to people realizing just how precious their lives were, it’s likely the dramatic increase in the wealth of the ultra-rich didn’t exactly hurt the company.
10 / 12
Bentley may have had a good 2020, but its 2021 was even better — both years set all-time sales records for the company. It seems low-volume automakers like Bentley and Rolls were immune to some of the worst pandemic-related shortages that crippled the rest of the industry, simply due to needing fewer components. Yet, despite the ever-increasing sales, the company doesn’t seem to think it needs more people actually building the cars.
11 / 12
Not Cadillac Or Lincoln
Not Cadillac Or Lincoln
You may have noticed this list is heavy on European and Japanese competitors. Well, the Americans didn’t do so hot in 2021. Between a constant tide of COVID waves, regulatory battles, and the ever-present chip shortage, both Cadillac and Lincoln dropped hard. Cadillac’s U.S. sales fell by just under 9 percent, while Lincoln saw a whopping 18 percent drop in U.S. deliveries. Buick sales, oddly, jumped by over ten percent — you heard it here first, folks, the future wears three shields on its badge.
12 / 12