Bentley forecasts reversal of China slump on new Flying Spur

The V-8 variant of the all-new Bentley Flying Spur, pictured, will be introduced at the Beijing auto show next month.
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SHANGHAI (Bloomberg) -- Bentley expects to reverse last year's decline in China deliveries after introducing a new variation of its Flying Spur saloon next month.

"We're sure that we're able to, let's say, make an improvement over last year," Ricky Tay, Bentley China's managing director, said in an interview in Beijing on Monday.

The Flying Spur V-8, with the lowest starting price among Bentley's four-door sedans, "will open up a new avenue to the luxury brand," Tay said.

Bentley deliveries in China fell 3 percent last year, after rising 23 percent the previous 12 months and almost doubling in 2011, as the carmaker went through model changes, Tay said.

The automaker unveiled the all-new Flying Spur at the Geneva auto show earlier this month.

China expansion

Bentley plans to open three to four dealerships in China this year, adding to the 36 it currently has, as the company targets more entrepreneurs, the executive said. The carmaker, which will introduce the new Flying Spur at an auto show in Beijing next month, expects to maintain its share of more than 30 percent in China's ultra-luxury market, Tay added.

China is Crewe, England-based Bentley's second-largest market, trailing only the United States. The carmaker sells more Flying Spurs and its flagship Mulsanne limousine in the Asian country than anywhere else in the world, according to the company.

Global Bentley deliveries climbed 19 percent in 2013.

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