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BMW sold more cars than Tesla in 2021

According to AutoNews, quoting newly released U.S. vehicle registration data from Experian, BMW of North America managed to sell more luxury cars in 2021 than the California-based electric car maker Tesla. The EV company came in at No. 2, ahead of Lexus and Mercedes-Benz. Experian said in a report this week that BMW had 347,453 new vehicles registered in the U.S. in 2021, while Tesla had 342,412. So BMW essentially sold 5,041 more vehicles than Tesla. The data is purely based on car registrations since Tesla does not disclose the number of sales by markets.

Yet, there might be some gaps in how the data is analyzed. The same publication says that “sales and registration numbers don’t track perfectly.” The reason lies in the fact vehicle sold in a particular month could be registered in the following months. Furthermore, registration data may include estimates when exact numbers are unavailable. This is the reason why last week, a previous report put Tesla ahead of BMW in 2021. Cox Automotive gave Tesla the edge over BMW with 352,471 cars sold in the United Sates. Regardless of which company took the crown last year, the race was close.

BMW i4 vs Tesla Model 3 2 of 3 830x830

In 2021, Tesla registrations were up 71 percent, while BMW’s were only 24 percent more than the previous year. BMW USA officially reported 336,644 units. Lexus said it sold 304,475 vehicles, and Mercedes followed with 276,102. Tesla predicts another major increase in 2022 – at least 50 percent – thanks to its new factories in Berlin and Austin. The latter will produce the Model Y and the Cybertruck.

Crossovers were at the top of the overall sales charts, for both BMW and Tesla. Model Y was Tesla’s bestselling EV in the U.S. last year, with 169,325 registrations. It was followed by Model 3 with 151,599 registrations. BMW’s light trucks accounted for 179,840 units sold in 2021, a 23 percent increase over the previous year.

2022 will certainly be interesting, especially with BMW bringing new electric vehicles to market. The BMW i4 and iX crossover are launching this March and will be followed later in the year by the first-ever BMW 7 Series electric – i7.