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BERLIN: Volkswagen vehicle deliveries fell 8.1% in 2021 to just under 4.9 million hurt by supply chain bottlenecks, the carmaker said on Wednesday, adding it expected the situation to remain volatile in the first half of this year.

By contrast, luxury carmaker BMW saw record deliveries of 2.21 million vehicles from the BMW brand, a success attributed in part to its ability to adapt to supply chain shortages.

Volkswagen said deliveries of fully electric or hybrid vehicles rose 73% to over 369,000 vehicles, making up 7.5% of total deliveries.

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"Under unusually challenging circumstances, Volkswagen reached a satisfying sales result," sales and marketing chief Klaus Zellmer said. "However, the huge effects of chips on production were not able to be fully compensated."

BMW rival Daimler came out in between, with a smaller sales drop than Volkswagen of 5%, but losing its crown to BMW for the first time in five years as the premium carmaker with most vehicles sold worldwide.

Performance for the premium carmakers was weakest in Europe, with BMW registering just 3.9% growth and Daimler an 11.2% drop.

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Volkswagen saw the biggest sales fall in China, down 14.8%.

North America was a strong market for all three carmakers. Daimler registered 0.4% growth in the United States and BMW 19.5%. Volkswagen saw 13% growth in the region.

Sales of hybrid or fully-electric vehicles rose across the industry, particularly in Europe, where they constituted between a fifth and a quarter of deliveries - but remained a small proportion of total global sales.

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