Successes overseas helps drive up Bentley Motors sales
LUXURY car manufacturer Bentley Motors is celebrating a recession-busting year of global success after selling more than 8,500 cars.
The Crewe-based company has released new figures revealing a phenomenal upturn in sales throughout 2012.
Despite a 'challenging' market, Bentley's business has grown by 22 per cent, with deliveries to customers increasing to 8,510 cars from 7,003 in 2011.
Deliveries were up in every international region as the manufacturer increased its global sales network by 10 per cent – doing business across Europe, China the Middle East and the Americas. Praising his Cheshire-based workforce, Bentley's chairman and chief executive Wolfgang Schreiber said: "It has been an excellent year.
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"This strong performance was possible due to our continuing investment in new models and the hard work and commitment of a highly motivated team.
"We expect the luxury market in 2013 to continue to be challenging but, with significant new model introductions, we believe we have the potential to maintain growth throughout the year."
A statement from Bentley told how the Americas finished 2012 as the company's largest global market, with 2,457 cars delivered to customers in the region, a 22 per cent increase on 2011. China followed closely with 2,253 cars delivered, Bentley's largest ever volume in the region.
In Europe, deliveries grew by 12 per cent with 1,333 cars delivered, while the Middle East performed well with deliveries up 44 per cent to 815 cars from 566.
The new V8 engine has been successful with customers, accounting for almost a fifth of total sales, while the W12 Continental GT and GT Convertible also maintained strong support, jointly accounting for more than a third of all sales.
The flagship Mulsanne saw sustained growth of 10 per cent, while four out of every ten Mulsannes built in Crewe were sold in China.
Despite the recession, the car market continues to grow.
Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show new car registrations in the UK rose 5.3 per cent in 2012 to 2,044,609 vehicles. Paul Everitt, SMMT's chief executive said: "More than two million new cars were registered in the UK during 2012, up 5.3 per cent on the previous year and the best result since 2008."
However, Caroline Stanworth, head of corporate banking for Barclays Staffordshire, was more cautious.
She said: "As we look to the year ahead the real question is whether this demand will hold. Consumer pockets will continue to be squeezed.
"Both manufacturers and dealers will have to be careful that supply does not outstrip demand."