Bentley plans to sell up to 5,000 SUV’s per year image

Bentley expects the planned new sports-utility vehicle to sell between 3,500 and 5,000 units a year, and some 25,000 units over the complete model life cycle, Bentley brand chief Wolfgang Duerheimer told Automotive News Europe in an interview published on the weekend.

He also told the automotive news website that the SUV could be launched within three years if parent Volkswagen Group gives the go-ahead.

In addition, the English luxury automaker is aiming high with its proposed goal of doubling annual sales by 2017.

“I am assuming a robust, double-digit growth for 2012. I expect growth of more than 10 percent for Bentley in China and the United States in 2012,” said Bentley CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer.

In 2011, Bentley’s American sales grew 32 percent while the companies Chinese sales almost doubled.

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.

Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest European auto manufacturer, bought Bentley in 1998 from Vickers PLC after a complex bidding war with BMW AG . Bentley was spun off from Rolls-Royce Motors with the Rolls-Royce automotive brand ending up part of BMW.