For 2012, the Bentley brand anticipates that its sales will experience a "robust" growth and that it will be more profitable as rich consumers return to their old buying habits, which were put on hold due to the 2008 economic recession.
Bentley is Volkswagen AG's super-luxury brand. Its CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer said that consumers have gotten tired of “pushing back purchases year after year.” He believes that there’s a “good chance” that Bentley’s deliveries will be able to get near the record it set in 2007 if the economy remains stable.
In 2011, Bentley’s sales were higher by 37%, attributed mostly to the doubling of demand in China. This led to the profit reporting a profit for the first time since 2008. In 2010, Bentley posted an operating loss of 245 million euros ($320 million). Founded in 1919, Bentley considers its main rival to be BMW AG's Rolls-Royce, which recorded its best sales year in 2007 with sales of 10,014 cars. Duerheimer said that deliveries last year reached 7,003 vehicles as China beat the United Kingdom as the brand’s second-biggest market. The U.S. is its biggest market. Sales are likely to increase by double-digit percentage this year.
Its profit is likely to surpass the figure set in 2011, which has yet to be announced. In the first nine months of 2011, Bentley reported a 6 million-euro operating loss. The last time that it recorded its last annual profit was in 2008 with 10 million euros. Adam Hull, a London-based WestLB analyst said that considering Volkswagen's 11 billion-euro earnings before interest and taxes, this figure is “not huge.”
He added though that this is “encouraging” results. Bentley hopes to exploit the stronger demand by adding 25 dealers in 2012 to its 161 sales outlets around the world. He said that the expansion will be concentrated in China, Russia and mainland Europe, with U.S. sales expected to grow at its current distribution network.
As part of its commitment to helping the environment, Bentley has long wanted to have a powertrain that would improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 40%. The release of the twin turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine inside the Continental GTC convertible and the Continental GT coupé signals the realization of that promise.