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Americans will buy more Bentley limousines this year

Bentley, the British luxury car manufacturer now owned by Volkswagen of Germany, expects sales to Americans to grow in 2011, while global sales will accelerate by more than 10 per cent.

Last year, Bentley’s sales in America increased six per cent to 1,531.

That might not sound like many, until you consider the cheapest Bentley costs around $200,000.

Bentley Chairman and Chief Executive Franz-Josef Paefgen told a press conference at the Detroit Car Show confidence is now returning to the U.S.

“Even more encouragingly, the last quarter’s sales (in the U.S.) were up over 20 per cent, momentum we carry into 2011,” Paefgen said.

Global sales last year were up 11 per cent to 5,117, driven on by China, where an 87 per cent improvement was achieved.

This year sales around the world will increase by at least 10 per cent.

“Our existing cars remain enduringly popular and have received improvements for 2011. It will be the first full year of sales for the new Mulsanne; and the new Continental GT is already garnering headlines and creating tremendous excitement amongst customers desperate to be one of the first to buy one. All this means we expect significant double digit growth for Bentley in 2011,” Paefgen said in a speech.

The Mulsanne is powered by a twin-turbocharged 6.7 liter V8 engine producing 503 hp. The sleeker, more aerodynamic all-wheel drive Continental has a six liter 12 cylinder engine producing 563 hp and can reach 198 mph. In the two thick brochures listing the characteristics and specifications of the Mulsanne and Continental, there is no mention of anything as sordid as price.

It appears though that a Mulsanne will cost you around $200,000, depending on your extras orders, while the base price for the Continental GT is $192,495, according to dealers.

Neil Winton – January 15, 2011

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