Bentley’s board member for sales and marketing expects deliveries to be lower this year, no thanks to economic uncertainties and the decline in oil prices. In 2014, Bentley sold 9 percent more vehicles to 11,020 deliveries. Kevin Rose told Reuters in an interview that slower growth in China, fears of deflation in Europe and weak oil prices, as well as the threat of Islamic State militants.
“I'm taking the balanced view and would say growth will be less." Notwithstanding those factors, Bentley is bent on implementing its expansion, which includes the launch of its first SUV most likely at a major auto show this year.
The launch of the new SUV is part of a growth plan that also entailed the launch of the new version of the flagship Mulsanne sedan in October 2014. The Speed version of the Mulsanne carries a tag of EUR324,000 ($411,000) and Bentley claims it is "the world's fastest ultraluxury driving experience."
The carmaker saw its sales in the Americas leap up 1.5 percent to 3,186 cars, and jump 22 percent in China to 2,670 cars. Bentley is seeing lesser business in the Middle East, as customers might be putting off luxury purchases due to oil prices.
Rose is confident that these customers are not cancelling their orders, but are just postponing purchases. Bentley logged the highest deliveries in the United Arab Emirates, while Saudi Arabia is showing good prospects.