Wolfgang Duerheimer, the ex-Porsche product meister who took over as CEO of Bentley Motors last month, says his first task is to get annual global sales back to their record level of 10,000 vehicles.
The 52-year-old German says Bentley can achieve that with its current vehicle range by selling more in new markets such as Russia and China. He also wants to boost sales in the United States, the superluxury brand's biggest market.
Duerheimer, based at Bentley headquarters in Crewe, England, won't say how long it will take to hit his sales targets and return Bentley to profitability. But he's confident of achieving double-digit growth in 2011 if the overall market continues to recover.
Bentley, acquired by Volkswagen Group in the late 1990s, was the darling of luxury carmakers just five years ago when global sales peaked at 10,014 vehicles. Last year it sold 5,170 cars worldwide, up from 4,616 a year earlier. U.S. sales peaked at 3,990 in 2007. Bentley sold 1,430 cars in the United States last year and 1,367 in 2009.