Mercedes-Benz suffered a 5.0% drop in sales in 2021, as the firm was heavily impacted by semiconductor supply chain bottlenecks which gripped the automotive industry.
The German firm sold 2,093,496 vehicles between January and December 2021, 70,691 units down on pandemic-blighted 2020, and was hit particularly badly in quarter four, when sales dropped by 24.7%.
Sales of plug-in vehicles climbed significantly, though, with 227,458 sold, representing growth of 69.3%. Of these, nearly 99,301 were pure-electric – a 90.3% uptick.
The firm’s luxury, performance and off-road sub-brands also recorded positive results. “In a challenging year, Maybach, AMG and G-Class vehicles posted new records,” said Britta Seeger, Mercedes-Benz board member for marketing and sales.
Some 15,730 Maybach models were sold, mostly to China where almost 900 units of its ultra-luxurious take on the S-Class were delivered each month, while global sales of AMG models soared by 16.7% to 145,979 units and 41,174 examples of the ultra-rugged G-Class SUV found homes worldwide.
Orders for the all-electric EQS reached 16,370 since its launch in August last year, Mercedes said. As its electric and electrified car line-up continues to grow, the firm anticipates it will record a continuing decline in emissions across its line-up.
Mercedes-Benz says demand was high in the fourth quarter of 2021 despite the semiconductor supply bottlenecks, and insists customers will have their orders fulfilled.
“Mercedes-Benz is making every effort to ensure that surging customer orders can be fulfilled as soon as possible,” said Seeger.
“The date when a customer placed an order is taken into consideration when scarce chips are allocated for vehicle production. The semiconductor supply situation remains volatile and the shortage is expected to impact the upcoming quarters in terms of production and sales,” she said.
Mercedes-Benz also achieved a 2.6% rise in commercial vehicle sales, with 334,210 units sold, credited to an increase in demand in the first half of the year. Around 9000 electric vans were sold for commercial use – double the figure of 2020.