2015 Bentley MulsanneEnlarge Photo
It’s looking like 2014 was a bumper year for luxury automakers, with many reporting record sales for the period. One of these was Bentley, which reported sales of 11,020 cars during the past year, a 9 percent increase on the 10,120 it sold in 2013.
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By comparison, main rival Rolls-Royce managed just 4,063 sales in 2014, achieving its own record, although it also registered the most sales of any automaker for vehicles priced north of 200,000 euros (approximately $238,500)—the border between mere luxury and ultra-luxury.
Bentley doesn’t give a breakdown of sales for individual markets but says the Americas, which is dominated by the U.S., had the most sales when it comes to regions. A total of 3,186 Bentleys were sold in the Americas in 2014, representing 29 percent of total deliveries.
China remained the second biggest market, with 2,670 cars sold in total over the year, against 2013’s tally of 2,191 cars. Europe, not including the U.K., was the third biggest market with 1,539 sales.
The most popular model was Bentley’s Continental GT range.
“We delivered more cars than ever before, and we now operate in more markets than at any point in our 96 year history, a perfect example of our truly international appeal,” Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer said in a statement. “And this as we embark on a milestone year for the company, in which we are working to deliver the world’s first luxury SUV, and set our sights beyond this and to the future to try and maintain this significant period of success.”
That future could include some interesting new models. One that is almost certain is a new Mulsanne convertible based on Bentley’s recent Grand Convertible Concept. Another is likely to be a new sporty model, possibly forming a new entry point for the brand. And, speaking with Autocar, Dürheimer said that continued strong demand for SUVs shows potential for a second, smaller SUV in Bentley’s lineup, although he also said that it was just one of a lot of different possibilities.