Despite the global crisis, last year Bentley increased its sales by 30 percent compared to 2010, yet the VW Group-owned luxury carmaker has even grander plans for the next five years.
While he is satisfied with the results so far, Bentley’s CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer wants his company to more than double its annual sales from today’s 7,000 units to 15,000 in 2017. Duerheimer told Automotive News Europe that he counts on China and the recovering U.S. market to contribute a lot in that increase.
“We are currently experiencing a boom in China, where our sales almost doubled to 1,839 vehicles in 2011”, said Duerheimer. “That made China Bentley’s second-largest single market. It will likely advance into the number one spot this year”, he added.
The market it is about to overtake is the United States, in which Bentley didn’t do badly at all in 2011. In fact, the company's deliveries increased by 32 percent, to 2,021 units.
Worldwide Bentley sales in 2011 reached 7,003 units – an excellent result, but lower than the pre-crisis record of 10,014 sales.
Duerheimer said that the British luxury brand must “sound the attack” in the European market, in which he expects a double-digit growth this year. “We sold 1,187 units, or about 17 percent of our sales in 2011”, he remarked. “We sold almost as many Bentleys in the UK (1,031 vehicles) as in mainland Europe.”
Bentley plans to add 25 dealers to its global network in 2012, 10 of which will be in China. It also wants to expand in markets like Russia, India and South America.
Duerheimer added that the 15,000 target was set with Bentley’s current range in mind. That is, sans the brand’s first ever SUV that will enter production in three or four years from now and which Bentley's CEO expects to sell 3,000-5,000 units annually.