Despite this success, the ongoing semiconductor shortage led to a decrease in overall global deliveries by 4.5% year-on-year to 8.9 million vehicles despite full order books, the company says.

BEV deliveries now account for 5.1% of the group’s total, up from 2.5% in 2020. The company says it is now the European market leader for this automotive category by a large margin and has achieved the second largest share of the U.S. market with 7.5%. Meanwhile, in China, deliveries of BEVs more than quadrupled to 92,700 units.

Given these results, Volkswagen Group states that the business model is changing going forward, predicting that its sources of income will progressively shift further from conventional petrol engines to zero-emissions electric cars and from sales of vehicles to software and mobility services, underpinned by autonomous driving technology. The company also projects that in 2030 one-in-two cars sold worldwide will be purely electric.

The top-selling BEV models in 2021 were:

  • Volkswagen ID.4 with 119,600 units
  • Volkswagen ID.3 with 75,500 units
  • Audi e-tron (incl. Sportback) with 49,200 units
  • ŠKODA Enyaq iV with 44,700 units
  • Volkswagen e-up!1 with 41,400 units
  • Porsche Taycan (incl. Turismo) with 41,300 units.

Regional deliveries

Volkswagen Group delivered 3,518,700 vehicles in Europe (a drop of 2.7% year-on-year). In Western Europe, 2,860,400 vehicles were delivered (-2.7%). Battery-electric vehicles were very popular in this region, accounting for 10.5% of the Group’s deliveries. Demand for BEVs was even somewhat stronger in Germany, where battery-electric vehicles made up 11.4% of deliveries. Here, a total of 991,900 vehicles across all drive systems were handed over to customers (-9.6%). Meanwhile, deliveries in Central and Eastern Europe declined by 2.8% to 658,300 units.

In North America, 908,400 vehicles were delivered, an increase of 15.6%. This was driven by the U.S., where deliveries rose by 16.9% to 671,800 units. Volkswagen also tripled its BEV deliveries in the largest North American market year-on-year to 37,200 vehicles.

A total of 514,600 vehicles were handed over to customers in South America, an increase of 5.1%. In Brazil, the region’s largest market, deliveries hovered around the prior-year figure at 376,500 units (-0.3%).

In the Asia-Pacific region, deliveries fell by 12.4% year-on-year to 3,610,600 units. China, the Group’s largest single market, was among the hardest hit by the semiconductor shortages. Here, deliveries were down by 14.1% to 3,304,800 units.

Lamborghini results

For luxury car manufacturer Lamborghini, which forms part of the Volkswagen Group under the Audi umbrella, 2021 saw an all-time record of 8,405 cars delivered worldwide. Global sales were up by 13% on 2020 due to a targeted and monitored growth strategy, the manufacturer says.

There was double-digit growth in all three of the macro-regions where Lamborghini is established: America (+14%), Asia Pacific (+14%) and EMEA (+12%). The company maintains a balanced split in global volumes, which stand at 35%, 27% and 39% respectively. For individual markets, the U.S. held the top spot (2,472 units, +11%), while China climbed into second place (935, +55%). They were followed by Germany (706, +16%) and the United Kingdom (564, +9%). There was also an increase in the figures for Lamborghini’s home market of Italy, where 359 cars were delivered in total (+3%).