BMW Beat Tesla By The Skin Of Its Teeth In Race For U.S. Luxury Crown, Figures Reveal

BMW Beat Tesla By The Skin Of Its Teeth In Race For U.S. Luxury Crown, Figures Reveal

It was a race as gripping as anything on Carwow’s YouTube channel; Tesla and BMW charging through 2021, each hoping to be crowned America’s luxury car champ based on sales numbers.

Tesla’s impressive handling of the semiconductor crisis helped it stamp out cars at a phenomenal rate last year, and for a while it looked as if the California EV maker might finally dethrone BMW, which had spent the previous two years topping the charts.

Tesla doesn’t break down its global figures into specific markets, meaning it’s been difficult to ascertain the result of the race, but registration figures from Experian have confirmed that BMW managed to pip Tesla to the line. We’re not sure how many champagne corks will be popping at BMW’s North American HQ, though, because this was a close-run thing.

Experian says BMW registered 347,453 new cars in the U.S. in 2021 while Tesla shifted 342,412, falling short by just 5,041 units. And Tesla’s performance is an unarguably more impressive achievement when you consider that the company’s model range consists of far fewer cars, and all of them are electric. Despite that handicap it managed to leave established giants like Mercedes-Benz and Lexus trailing in its wake.

Related: Tesla Removed Steering Rack ECU To Deal With Chip Shortage, Cars Cannot Get Level 3 Autonomy Over-The-Air

Tesla Model Y was America’s most popular EV in 2021

Automotive News explains that Experian’s 347,543 figure for BMW registrations differs from BMW’s self-reported sales total of 336,644 because vehicles sold one month might be registered in another. Sales data is considered the official figure, and since Tesla doesn’t report it, BMW is the official champ.

But that might well change in 2022. Tesla’s sales rate increased over 2021, and CEO Elon Musk recently announced that global sales will rise by an incredible 50 per cent this year with new factories in Berlin, Germany, and Austin, Texas, pumping out tens of thousands of additional vehicles.

Experian’s data also showed that Tesla occupied the top two positions in the U.S. EV charts. The Model Y SUV recorded 169,325 registrations, just ahead of the Model 3 sedan on 151,599, but miles in front of the Ford Mustang Mach-E, which moved just 25,695 units.

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