The majority of luxury car manufacturers would readily admit that times are good. The world is awash with cash and its working well for the likes of Rolls-Royce and Bentley. A million dollars for a car is no big deal these days with a number of exotics and luxury cars boasting sticker prices well north of that figure?and there are waiting lists to buy them.
Bentley is letting the good times roll with worldwide sales of their product for the January to September period up 19.3 percent or ?1 billion when compared to the same period last year.
Over 7,800 Bentleys have found new homes so far this year with a rapidly growing market in China (up by 72%) and domestic sales meeting with continued success.
The worldwide desire for Bentleys has been fuelled by the Continental GTC convertible, while sales of the flagship Arnage and Azure range have been increasing by 75% year-on-year.
"Our continuing strong product-led performance in the third quarter means that Bentley is on track for a fourth consecutive year of growth in worldwide sales and profitability," said Stuart McCullough, Bentley?s Member of the Board, Sales and Marketing
Rolls-Royce have only just announced the redevelopment of their Goodwood based manufacturing facility including the introduction of a new assembly line, to enable them to keep pace with demand as well as the manufacture of their upcoming new model. Not to be outdone, Bentley are now trying to work out how they can build more cars.
?In four years our volume has grown from 1,000 to 10,000 cars. The current volume is closer to where we want it to be, but we may have to change the way we produce cars. At Crewe we currently work a two-shift system, so as an example we could go to a three-shift system. But we won?t make those changes until we are certain the volumes are safe. We?re reluctant to push too many cars into the market place, and the worst thing we could do to our customers is cheapen the product they drive,? said Stuart McCullough, member of the Bentley board for sales and marketing.
Interestingly, Bentley?s largest market is Japan and there are new dealerships slated to open in Tokyo and Yokohama during 2008. China is as would be expected a huge growth market for Bentley and they are currently unable to keep up with demand.