German carmakers battle winner – as transition to electrification brings new challenges | Business News

The German auto industry is arguably the most competitive in the world.

The largest car producer in Europe and the third largest in the world is home to three of the world’s 10 largest car manufacturers by sales – Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler.

Despite recent cooperation in some areas and a €875m (£730m) fine that the European Commission imposed on Volkswagen and BMW last year for Collusion to reduce the use of emissions technologyThere is little more to the fun of the three than simply placing one on top of the other.

Car manufacturer accused of ignoring safety concerns
Volkswagen is the largest car manufacturer in the world in terms of sales

This is why the year-end sales numbers published by the trio are always closely watched.

It can also be a reason for regional pride because the trio, and all the major employers, are all located in different parts of Germany.

Volkswagen is based in Wolfsburg in the north of the country while BMW is based in Munich, in the heart of Bavaria, Germany’s richest region.

Meanwhile, Daimler is headquartered in Stuttgart in southwest Germany, the city adjacent to the Black Forest that also houses the hardware, electrical and auto parts giant Porsche.

With the three categories vying for so many challenging categories, it can sometimes be difficult to say who had the best year, but training for who held Gold, Silver and Bronze positions during 2021 has proven relatively straight.

What’s interesting is Volkswagen which, despite being the world’s largest automaker by sales, has had a relatively disappointing time.

November 18, 2021, Berlin:
Daimler brands include the Mercedes-Benz Pic: AP

Volkswagen, whose other brands include Seat, Skoda, Audi and Bentley, said today that it suffered an 8.1% decline in global vehicle deliveries during 2021 to just 4.9 million.

The company can still point to some victories, not least in the UK, where it has just ended Ford’s leadership of the new car market for half a century.

Volkswagen also made sure to note today that the proportion of battery electric and hybrid cars it produces has nearly doubled, to 7.5% of total deliveries.

Meanwhile, in Europe these vehicles account for nearly one in five new cars delivered.

And while there was a drop in sales in Europe and in the massive Chinese market, the company could also point to a 13% rise in North America.

“Volkswagen continues to move forward with the transition to e-mobility despite the limited supply of semiconductors,” said Ralf Brandsteiter, CEO of Volkswagen Brands.

Last year, Germany runner-up was Daimler, owner of brands including Mercedes-Benz, Maybach and Smart.

It announced last Friday that Mercedes-Benz sold 2.05 million vehicles during 2021, a decrease of 5%, once again reflecting the global shortage of chips.

The MINI Electric was unveiled at the MINI plant in Cowley, Oxfordshire, before production begins later this year.  9/7/2019
The electric model of Mini is now the best-selling model of the BMW-owned Mini brand

The biggest sales reversal was in Europe, where Mercedes-Benz suffered an 11.2% drop in sales, with Chinese sales down 2% and US sales increasing by 0.5%.

More importantly, it means that, for the first time in five years, Mercedes-Benz has been surpassed as the world’s premium automaker for BMW – the first winner of the three in 2021.

The automaker, who also owns Rolls-Royce And small brands, car sales during 2021 grew by 8.4% to 2.5 million.

The BMW brand itself converted a record 2.2 million units, an increase of 9.1%, making it the largest luxury car brand in the world.

BMW also noted the doubling of electric vehicle sales and highlighted that the Mini’s Electric model is now the best-selling Mini brand.

Peter Nota, Member of the BMW Board of Directors responsible for Customers, Brands and Sales, said: “Despite supply bottlenecks and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we delivered a strong sales performance in 2021, thanks to strong operational performance and an excellent product portfolio.

“Our brands have reported many of the best-ever sales results around the world – led by the BMW brand, which ranks number one in the global luxury car segment.

“With more than 100,000 all-electric vehicles sold last year, our clear focus was on ramping up electric mobility.”

Technicians inspect a Rolls-Royce on the production line of the Rolls-Royce Goodwood plant, near Chichester, Britain, September 1, 2020
BMW also owns the Rolls-Royce car brand

And by next year, he said, BMW will have at least one all-electric model on the roads in nine out of ten current market segments.

The company expects to sell about 10 million fully electric vehicles over the next decade or so.

It would be easy to look at 2021, with the way chip shortages have affected the industry, as it was almost as unusual for German carmakers as 2020 with pandemic-related production shutdowns.

However, the industry faces plenty of challenges ahead, not least the shift towards electric cars and away from the internal combustion engine, the technology that has been at the heart of Germany’s industrial and manufacturing prowess over the past century.

Volker Wessing, who has been appointed transport minister in Germany’s new coalition government, has publicly criticized the country’s relatively slow move toward so-called “clean mobility”.

Germany is the only economy in the world that does not set speed limits on its highways – a major issue during last year’s elections – while the three auto giants themselves have been accused of slowing the transition to electric cars despite the latest developments. The European Commission has imposed strict new emissions rules.

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‘Great demand for electrified vehicles’

This partly reflects the scale of the challenge: Even before the pandemic, VW boss Herbert Diess was publicly considering in an interview with Handelsblatt newspaper that German carmakers had only an equal financial opportunity to negotiate the transition.

And this is not only a nuisance to car manufacturers.

Germany is also one of the world’s largest suppliers of auto parts, an industry that employs more than 820,000 people in the country.

There are far fewer parts in an electric vehicle than there are in an internal combustion engine-powered car or truck, and therefore, this has employment implications in an economy where there are an estimated 2.15 million “car-dependent” jobs.

So moving is also a headache for The new German government And the three parties that make up that government — the SPD, the FPD, and the Greens — in no way agree on issues such as imposing speed limits or setting a fixed date for the phase-out of conventional vehicles.

It’s a fair bet that the automakers will urge it behind the scenes to take a cautious approach.

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