Bentley has hired Stefan Buescher as marketing and product director, a new position that the luxury vehicle manufacturer has created to prepare for a worldwide sales push. Buescher has previously worked for Porsche as marketing communications manager. He will report to Alasdair Stewart, who is the member of the board for sales and marketing.
The new position was made by chief executive Wolfgang Duerheimer, who had also worked for Porsche prior to joining Bentley in February 2011. A Bentley spokesperson disclosed that they are looking at "significantly expanding sales" worldwide including China, which is the automaker's fastest growing market.
In fact, the Volkswagen-owned automaker created a new position of regional director for China earlier this year. The spokesperson added that the new CEO has been studying internal structures and key markets to make sure that they are in the best position to face the challenges.
Bentley is anticipated to unveil a concept previewing a new SUV at the Geneva Motor Show this month. In 2011, the global sales of the automaker leaped by 37 percent to 7,003 units, 1,839 of which were sold in China. The Asian country beat the United Kingdom as the brand’s second-biggest market. The US remains the brand’s biggest market.
For 2012, Bentley expects sales to experience a "robust" growth and the carmaker would be more profitable as more affluent consumers return to their old buying habits. Sales are seen to surge by double-digit percentage this year. Bentley seeks to exploit the stronger demand by adding 25 dealers this year to its 161 sales outlets around the world.
Duerheimer remarked that consumers have gotten tired of “pushing back purchases year after year.” He added that there is a “good chance” that Bentley’s deliveries would get near the record it set in 2007 if the economy sustains its stability.
Bentley’s strong growth in sales in China allowed the carmaker to report a profit for the first time since 2008, when it logged an annual profit of EUR10 million. Bentley posted an operating loss of EUR245 million ($320 million) in 2010.
In January, Bentley unveiled the new Continental GT and Continental GTC variants powered by a new V8 engine at the Detroit Auto Show. The new twin turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine inside the Continental GT Continental GTC is tuned to deliver a max output of 373 kW (507 PS or 500 bhp) at 6,000 rpm, as well as a peak torque of 660 Nm (487 lb.-ft.) available between 1,700 rpm and 5,000 rpm.