The Bavarian automaker has a lot to celebrate right now.
Despite all the negative publicity surrounding the design direction of the new M3, M4, and 4 Series, BMW is starting 2021 on a high. In the first three months of 2021, the BMW Group delivered 636,606 vehicles worldwide across the BMW, Mini, and Rolls-Royce brands. This represents a 33.5 percent increase over the first quarter of 2020 and a new all-time high for Q1.
Between January and March 2021, the BMW brand sold 560,543 units, an increase of 36.2 percent compared to Q1, 2020 BMW attributes this success to the popularity of the X series SUVs, which increased by 36.5 percent with 246,068 units sold. Sales of the 5 Series also increased by 43.6 percent.
Another factor that helped BMW achieve record sales in Q1 2021 is the growing demand for plug-in hybrid and battery-electric vehicles. In total, BMW sold 70,207 electrified cars in the first quarter of 2021, which is more than double compared to Q1 2020. To capitalize on the demand, BMW is also launching the electric i4 sedan and iX SUV this year. By 2030, BMW estimates that electric cars will make up 50 percent of its sales.
Proving there's still a demand for traditional combustion-powered sports cars, sales of BMW M cars increased by 21 percent in Q1 2021 thanks primarily to the popularity of the X5 M, X6 M, and M440i Coupe.
This sales momentum will no doubt continue with the launch of the new M3 and M4 last month. Despite its limited brand appeal in China, Mini's sales in the first three months of 2021 also increased by 16.2 percent compared to Q1 2020, with 74,683 units sold.
The Mini Countryman was particularly popular with sales increasing by 36 percent, Mini 3 door sales increased by 23.4 percent. Sales of high-performance John Cooper Works models also increased by 19.1 percent in Q1 2021. Likewise, Rolls-Royce is also celebrating its best-ever first-quarter sales, with 1,380 luxury cars delivered worldwide in Q1 2021 - an increase of 61.8 percent thanks to high demand for the new Ghost and Cullinan.