Powered By Chinese Demand, Bentley Sales Soar in 2011

January 4, 2012Sectorby EW News Desk Team


Sales of luxury carmaker Bentley reached record levels in 2011, with a total of 7,003 vehicles sold in the year. The United States remains the carmakers top market, but China came in a close second with sales almost doubling in 2011, surpassing the previous year’s record.

On the back of strong sales in two of the world’s biggest auto markets, the United States and China, Volkswagen-owned British luxury carmaker Bentley said on Tuesday that its total sales for 2011 jumped 37 percent to 7,003 vehicles.

The United States remained the company’s top market with a total of 2,021 car sales, a 32 percent increase from 2010.

Buoyed by ultra-rich Chinese consumers and their extravagant love of luxury, a record 1,839 Bentleys were sold in the Republic alone, almost double the volume in 2010. In the company’s annual report for 2010, it was revealed that revenues in China grew by 117 percent for the previous three years.

Reflecting the weak domestic economic conditions, it is also the first time in Bentley’s 92-year history that Chinese sales overtook the UK’s.  

Related: Biggest share of auto sales now in emerging markets

This achievement is even more remarkable considering Bentley has been present in China for less than ten years, said Bentley’s chairman and chief executive Wolfgang Dürheimer.

In a results statement, the carmaker estimated export volumes for 2011 exceeded $500 million in 2011, with Dürheimer calling 2011 a “tremendously good year,” and said:

It has been particularly pleasing to see renewed interest in Bentley in established as well as in new and emerging markets, all of which is contributing to a positive financial result for 2011.

The dramatic sales growth reflects a global strength to the brand and recognition of the quality, craftsmanship and engineering excellence of our cars.

Bentley, owned by the German Volkswagen, is based in Britain where it employs 4,000 people in Crewe and is viewed as one of the most successful Anglo-German business ventures.

As one analyst told the Guardian: "It's a partnership and it works fantastically well – very different from the disastrous association between Rover and BMW."

Related: Volkswagen confident of achieving over 2 million sales in China this year

Related: China needs talents for the auto industry 

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