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Bentley In The Money Again, And Plans New SUV

China Sales, Emerging Markets Make The Difference

Bentley is back in the black again after two years of losses and is feeling confident enough about its future to talk about introducing a new sport utility vehicle.

The British based luxury car maker owned by Volkswagen said its sales spurted 37 per cent in 2011 to 7,003, and the company said in a statement that that it would make a final decision about the new SUV in the first quarter of 2012.

Bentley declined to give details of its 2011 profit. In the first nine months of 2011 it cut its operating loss to €6 million from a loss of €145 million in the same period of 2010.

Bentley sales dropped to just over 4,000 during the recession from a peak of 9,398 during the peak of the cycle in 2007.

Bentley  brand chief Wolfgang Duerheimer said sales growth in 2012 could be in double digits, and earnings would improve too.

IHS Automotive said Bentley’s rebound was down to surging demand in emerging economies, mainly China.

“The brand will record further sales growth for now, before it plateaus in 2014 to around 9,000. While we expect the new SUV to do little for the overall sales expansion of the brand, we do anticipate that it will reduce the impact of the model age cycle, making the business more stable in the long run,” IHS said in a statement.

Neil Winton – January 10, 2012

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