(Beijing, Friday 20th May) - Bentley Motors this week announced that it had sold a record 396 cars in Mainland China in the first four months of 2011. This shattered the previous record – which was set only last year – by a staggering 66%.
In 2010, Bentley sold just under a thousand cars in China – nearly double the previous year’s performance – making it the third most important single market for Bentley. But, after the first four months of 2011, China had outsold the UK for the first time making it the second most important market after the United States. Around one in four Bentleys sold globally, is now sold in China.
The result is all the more impressive considering the sales record has largely been achieved before the arrival of the new Continental GT and new Mulsanne – two new models that are already building large order books in the rest of the world. Sales expectations for the full year are therefore that this growth will accelerate as the new models land.
In recognition of the importance of China to Bentley, the Company is this week hosting its Worldwide Dealer Conference in Beijing. This is the first time that Bentley has held such an important global event in Asia and it will give all its dealers the chance to see just how rapidly this vibrant country is changing. The Dealer Conference is taking place at locations across the city ranging from the spectacular Bird’s Nest stadium to the ancient Tai Miao in the Forbidden City.
Bentley’s Member of the Board for Sales and Marketing, Alasdair Stewart said: China is the perfect venue for Bentley’s Dealer Conference: it contains such a vibrant mix of the traditional and the modern and it is now one of our most significant markets. Our Chinese customers, like the rest of the world, value Bentley’s history and our emphasis on the finest luxury, craftsmanship and automotive excellence. Although China has traditionally been a market for four-door cars such as the Mulsanne and the Continental Flying Spur, there is growing interest in the excitement, adrenalin and sheer fun of driving high performance sports car. This was clear from the recent Shanghai Auto Show where half of the 50 cars sold were new Continental GTs – and it is a key reason we are so confident about our future here.
Bentley expects this growth to continue and plans to expand its Chinese dealer network by one third in 2011 alone. However, the standards of service and quality that are the hallmarks of Bentley will be assured following the recent opening of a Training Academy in China – another sign of the investment and commitment being made to this exciting new market.