Bentley posted a 17-percent drop in sales in China in the first nine months of 2013 to 1,264 units, further fueling speculations that the luxury goods market in the country is becoming smaller. Bentley, however, logged a 9-percent jump in global sales in the first nine months of 2013 to 6,516 units, thanks to strong sales in the Americas, where deliveries surged 16 percent to 2,022 cars.
The ultra-luxury carmaker also logged strong demand in Europe, growing 14 percent to 1,081 vehicles. Bentley attributed its particularly strong performance in the nine-month period to its W12 models, with sales of the Continental GT Speed and Continental GT Speed Convertible getting a strong boost in all regions. According to Kevin Rose, head of sales at Bentley, he is optimistic that global sales growth would be over 10 percent for 2013.
In contrast, British peer and rival Aston Martin has posted lower profits and was forced to give up its Cygnet city car due to poor sales. Earlier this year, Bentley's parent Volkswagen Group green-lighted the British carmaker's push to build its first sports utility vehicle. Bentley is hoping that its current slump in China is only temporary.
It is also hoping that the introduction of its redesigned Flying Spur -- powered by a six-liter, 12-cylinder engine providing a top speed of 320 kph (200 mph) -- will boost sales in China. Lamborghini, LVMH Group and Burberry have warned of a significant slowdown in China over the last year, partly due to a current campaign to curtail lavish spending as well as to slow down growth. [source: Reuters]