Volkswagen AG’s Bentley Motors has jumped the gun among ultra-luxury manufacturers and touts the approaching introduction of its first sport utility vehicle and bets the model can further spur the already record sales to new heights.
The British brand, owned by the second largest automaker in the world – Volkswagen AG – has already reported record deliveries in 2014, with the company surging 9% buoyed by increased demand from the world’s biggest auto market, China, to a total of 11,020 units. And thanks to the approaching introduction of the company’s first ever SUV model, the luxury carmaker expects to almost double the figure by 2020. The VW-owned unit has predicted now sales of 20,000 vehicles by 2020 – with the previous forecast calling for yearly sales of 15,000 units by 2018. “We think the success of the SUV will lift us into a new dimension,” commented Chief Executive Wolfgang Duerheimer, also disclosing the SUV model is due in production form this year, most likely in time for the spring’s Geneva auto show.
While first showroom deliveries only begin in 2016, according to ales chief Kevin Rose the model has already been very interesting for 4,000 customers that seem ready to order the car blindly – which could mean the internal forecast of 3,000 annual deliveries could be too conservative. CEO Duerheimer added that overall the brand is preparing for “a very strong year again” in 2015, though a figure can’t be forwarded at the moment because of numerous geopolitical uncertainties in some markets, such as Russia. The brand’s two best-selling regions last year were the Americas and China, with the latter finishing a close second.