The British ultra-luxury automaker, currently owned by Germany’s Volkswagen AG – the largest carmaker in Europe and the second-biggest in the world, had record sales of 11,020 autos last year.
Now the Volkswagen Group division believes that mark will be easily overshadowed by the upcoming performance, driven by the approaching introduction of the brand’s first SUV, the Bentayga. Bentley will have an advantage over the rest of ultraluxury manufacturers that seek an entry in the segment – such as Maserati, Lamborghini, Aston Martin and Rolls-Royce – because it would be the first to reach the market with a crossover model. Now the British brand believes annual sales of 20,000 units by 2020 would be easily achievable, topping their previous target of 15,000 vehicles by 2018.
According to Bentley CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer, while the Bentayga SUV is not expected to the market before 2016, the current year has positive prospects for the brand despite numerous uncertainties in the global auto market. The chief executive believes that Bentley’s core markets will remain equally strong this year, further lifting the record sales figures. Additionally, after five consecutive years of sales growth and 168 million euro operating profit in 2013 the brand seems undeterred by the massive investments needed to introduce the new models. “Up through 2016, we will invest 840 million pounds (1.1 billion euros) into new production technology, the new SUV, a new r&d center and a new design center. There is a lot of building going on in Crewe right now,” said the executive. The official also contended Bentley was capturing more market share than ever before in the 150,000 euro and above price range, growing faster than its direct rivals.
Via Automotive News Europe