Bentley’s overall sales increased by nearly a third in the first six months of the year, with the U.S. market overtaking China as the automaker’s biggest market. Through the end of June, Bentley reported a 32% growth after having delivered 3,929 cars to customers. U.S. sales have gone up 25.7% with sales of 1,140 units, barely beating China, which experienced a 55.7% increase to 1,059 units.
China had become the largest market for Bentley's vehicles as of the end of the first quarter. With 557 cars delivered to UK customers, this market has become the largest one in Europe, higher by 4.5%. Bentley CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer said that its half-year results display significant growth for Bentley in each single region throughout the globe.
Mulsanne sedan sales increased by 30% while the Continental GT coupe grew by 48.5%. Bentley won’t announce the exact figures but according to JATO, the figures for Europe by the end of May indicated that GT accounted for majority of the sales with 776 units sold while 82 Mulsanne units were sold. Sales had been driven up by the demand for the Continental GT's new V8 version.
Bentley didn’t disclose what the difference was between that and the 12-cylinder version, except to say that the more affordable V8 was "already achieving a double digit figure," talking about the percentage split. Bentley is thinking about raising its range with a production version of the EXP 9F SUV concept introduced at the Geneva auto show in early 2012. Duerheimer has said in a previous report that releasing an SUV may add an extra 3,500-5,000 units of sales annually. In 2011, Bentley sold 37% more cars to 7003 units.
Among the many products to come from Bentley, one of the most highly admired remains to be the Continental. Under this range, the Continental GT was both a success and a groundbreaking model. This is because not only did it reintroduce the brand when it was launched in 2003, but the Continental GT managed to start an entirely new segment in the market.
At that time, the Continental GT was a luxury vehicle that boasted usability while continuing to have the grand touring spirit Bentley was famous for. Thus, when the brand set out to make the new generation of the Continental GT, both the design team and the engineering team were excited as this gave them the chance to set a new direction for this model.
Using the success of the previous generations the new 4-seat Continental GT coupe not only managed to capture that GT spirit but it did so in a way that it brings the craftsmanship, design, engineering, luxury, and refinement, to new levels. The same can be said for the everyday practicality and the dynamic performance.
Powering it is the celebrated twin-turbocharged 12-cylinder 6-liter powertrain. The main difference is that for the new Continental GT, the power of the engine was increased to 567 bhp (423 kW/575 PS), with torque upped as well and now at 516 lb.-ft. (700 Nm). This engine is then paired to the Quickshift transmission, a transmission that allows for double downshifts.
By utilizing the innovative FlexFuel technology, the new Continental GT can run on unleaded gas, bioethanol (up to E85), or even a combination of the two. When it comes to design, the way the body has been stunningly sculptured gives this new coupe an appearance that is more defined and crisper at the same time. Going inside, there are a number of features included that are aimed at offering new levels of comfort, design, and hand-crafted luxury.
A good example is the seats which not only offer more legroom in the rear but also deliver on providing additional support. The sweeping dashboard was not only made more contemporary but shows more style as well.
Then there is the infotainment system with touchscreen capability and which includes cutting-edge navigation, entertainment, and Google Maps. Those who love to listen to music will be more than satisfied with the use of the Balanced Mode Radiator speaker technology which is combined with the Dirac Dimensions digital sound processing.