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Bentley Motors is expecting to have its biggest year on record in 2021, as it delivers on pent-up demand for its Bentayga SUV, Continental coupe and Flying Spur limousine.
Speaking to Australian media at a local drive of the facelifted Bentayga, Bentley Motors Asia Pacific boss Nico Kuhlmann said the British marque is on track to outpace Aston Martin, McLaren, Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce this year.
“Despite the challenges of the global pandemic that we’ve all been dealing with throughout the past few months, 2020 though, was a record year for us globally with a particular strong performance in Asia Pacific,” he said.
“We delivered more than 1200 cars in APAC, which is a year over year increase of plus-six per cent.
“Our six retailers in Australia have been performing very well in the first quarter of this year, making Bentley the number one luxury brand in Australia.
“We’re confident to stay on track of achieving another record year for Bentley, in particular also in Australia.”
After four months of trading this year, sales are up 23.1 per cent year-on-year to 64 units, with the Continental the brand’s best seller on 28 units, followed by the Bentayga on 26 and then the Flying Spur with 10.
The only ultra-premium marque ahead of Bentley in Australia is Ferrari, which has notched 65 sales in 2021, but is down 18.8 per cent year-on-year.
With refreshed versions of the V8-powered Bentayga, Continental and Flying Spur now in showrooms, Bentley will look to launch the 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 variants of its SUV and sedan later this year to boost sales further.
Last year, Bentley Australia sold 165 cars, a 13.6 per cent dip over its year-end result in 2019, but stock shortages of its Bentayga SUV and complications with Coronavirus kept the number down.
That didn’t stop Bentley from breaking its global sales record though, selling 11,206 units in 2020, which global boss Adrian Hallmark expects to be bested in 2021.
“Our previous high was just over 11,200 sales, we’ll be above that, save for any crises with supply of components,” he told Australian media.
“I won’t give a number today, we don’t give sales targets publicly, let’s just look back in about eight months’ time and see how we did, but we’re in a good place.
“The incoming order range is higher than the customer delivery rate, so we’re actually building the order bank each month even though we’re hitting record customer deliveries.
“We’ve also, as many of the dealers in Australia and elsewhere will attest, we’ve also got about a 30 per cent deficit in product availability. So, if you go to any showroom around the world now, they’re running with about a third less stock in the pipeline than they would normally get.
“And that’s not because of not being able to build cars, we’re building them at the fastest rate ever, it’s because they’re all sold.”
As to the reason why Bentleys have become so popular? Mr Hallmark put it down to the refreshed line-up and cutting-edge technologies that have elevated the brand beyond what it was once known for.
“If you take a step back and look at our situation, first of all, we have a brand-new product range, every product is new in the last two years,” he said.
“It’s all new architecture, all new electronics, all new powertrains, even the W12 is a brand-new twin-injection W12 system.
“And if you look at the styling, the proportions of our new cars, they’re a step change to the past.
“Finally, luxury has come out of the slightly quirky, crafted, loveable, but slightly imperfect world into technical perfection, as well as emotion excellence. And that’s what Bentley’s all about.”