FRANKFURT -- Bentley has booked five Antonov cargo jets to help overcome potential supply bottlenecks in the event of a disorderly exit of Britain from the European Union.
Bentley buys 90 percent of its components from continental Europe, and sells about 24 percent of its cars into Europe, CEO Adrian Hallmark told the Financial Times Future of the Car summit.
"We have spent two years planning. We have five Antonovs that we have on reserve to fly bodies to Manchester," Hallmark said.
In addition to shifting car bodies by air, Bentley has increased the level of spare parts stored for production.
"We used to run just-in-time with two days stock. Now we have 14 days stock. That's 14 working days, so that's three weeks of stock," he said.
The automaker has booked additional warehouses and planned new logistics routes in case traditional supply methods are hampered by bottlenecks.
If Britain fails to secure a negotiated trade agreement with EU policymakers, Bentley would be able to absorb 10 percent import tariffs by raising prices and cutting costs. This would be less damaging than supply disruptions.
"It is not existential as long as everything flows. Stopping flows is far more dangerous than Brexit tariffs," Hallmark said, referring to supply bottlenecks.
This year Bentley, which is part of Volkswagen Group, expects to sell more than 10,000 cars and to reach breakeven, mainly because of a rebound in demand in China, Hallmark said.
China sales are up 35 percent when compared with before the COVID-19 crisis. Sales in Europe and the United States up 15 percent, Hallmark said.
"Overall, we are in a position where we will do well over 10,000 sales this year," he said via Webcast. "We are on the cusp of going beyond breakeven."