DETROIT: Bentley back on track for record sales
Bentley could match its 2007 record of 10,000 sales in 2013, according to global sales and marketing chief Kevin Rose.
The Volkswagen owned, Crewe, England-based company was badly hit by the aftermath of the 2008 banking crisis after a period of impressive growth and has been fighting to recover lost ground ever since.
But it sold just over 8,500 cars in 2012 and has promised to back this up with double-digit growth this year. "That could be anywhere between 10% and 99%," said Rose.
"If we get back to 10,000 sales this year I would be delighted but we are under no pressure to achieve that immediately. We are confident we have the right strategy to do it sooner rather than later."
In 2012, sales were up in all markets for all models except the Continental Flying Spur which comes up for replacement this year. In a first for Bentley, its successor will initially go on sale in China followed, soon afterwards, by other major markets.
Russia saw the largest increase over 2011 last year - 50% - followed by China (23%) and the US (21%). Germany achieved 12 % growth and and the UK 7%.
Rose believes that, long-term, Bentley is capable of more than 10,000 sales a year particularly if the go-ahead is given for a luxury SUV based on the 2011 Frankfurt show concept.
"We can persuade the finance guys to invest in extra capacity if we need it, but first we have to be certain where we are going to be in seven, eight or nine years' time," he said.
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