Bentley sales leap as U.S. demand overtakes China
LONDON -- The United States has overtaken China to become Bentley's biggest market once again as overall sales grew by almost a third in the first half of the year.
The British luxury marque posted growth of 32 percent after delivering 3,929 cars to customers in the first six months.
In the United States, sales rose by 25.7 percent to 1,140, narrowly beating China, which rose 55.7 percent to 1,059. At the end of the first quarter, China had been Bentley's biggest market.
The UK is still the VW-owned company's biggest European market with 557 cars delivered, a rise of 4.5 percent.
"Our half year results show strong growth for Bentley in every single global region," Bentley CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer said.
Sales of the Mulsanne sedan climbed 30 percent and the Continental GT coupe by 48.5 percent. The carmaker declined to reveal exact numbers, but JATO figures for Europe to the end of May showed that the GT took the bulk of sales at 776, with the Mulsanne on 82.
Bentley said the Continental GT's new V8 version had helped boost the figures. The automaker declined to reveal the split between that and the 12-cylinder version, saying only the cheaper V8 was "already achieving a double digit figure," referring to the percentage split.
Bentley is considering increasing its range with a production version of the EXP 9F SUV concept shown at the Geneva auto show earlier this year. Duerheimer has previously said that an SUV could add another 3,500-5,000 sales a year.
Last year Bentley sold 7003 cars, an increase of 37 percent.
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