Flagship marque drives sales
GLOBAL sales at luxury car-maker Bentley jumped by more than 30 per cent in the first half of the year.
The Crewe-based manufacturer has revealed it delivered 3,929 cars to customers during the first six months of 2012, up 32 per cent compared with the same period last year.
The U.S. edged ahead of China as Bentley's number one market, with sales rising 25.7 per cent to 1,140.
In China, which leapfrogged the U.S. for the first time during the first quarter of the year, the firm sold 1,059 cars, an increase of 55.7 per cent compared with the first six months of 2011.
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In the UK sales rose by 4.5 per cent to 557, while in Europe Bentley sold 607 cars, up 22.9 per cent.
Further afield the firm saw deliveries increase by 47.9 per cent in the Middle East to reach 346 cars, and sales were also up some 52.6 per cent in Asia Pacific after 145 cars were sold and 114.3 per cent in Japan where 75 were shipped out.
It means Bentley is on course to beat last year's performance, when demand bounced back to pre-recession levels.
The Sentinel reported in January that global sales increased by 37 per cent in 2011 to 7,003 cars.
Bentley's chief executive Wolfgang Dürheimer said: "Our half year results show strong growth for Bentley in every single global region. The competition between the Americas and China continues and we are watching closely to see who will emerge as the largest region in 2012.
"Sales are being driven up by our flagship Mulsanne which is up 30 per cent following strong interest in the US and China. We are also pleased to see the continued growth of the new Continental GT W12, our pinnacle performance coupé.
"I am very optimistic about the future. We are gaining more momentum every month due to the strong performance of our global dealer network, the appeal of our existing model line to customers and the exciting future models like the Continental GT Speed we have in the pipeline."
Bentley employs just under 4,000 people at its Pyms Lane headquarters. Bentley said sales of its flagship Mulsanne model, right, rose by 30 per cent as the Diamond Jubilee Special Edition and Mulliner Driving Specification became available to customers.
And sales of its new Continental GT increased by 48.5 per cent.
Last month Bentley unveiled its fastest road-going car yet – the 205 mph Continental GT Speed coupe, which will cost from £151,500 and be available from October. It has also developed a new 4x4 'concept' called the EXP 9 F, which made its UK debut last month. If it does go into production the EXP 9 F could be on sale by 2015 and would cost around £140,000.