Bentley SUV production awaits Volkswagen AG nod

With large scale demand being experienced in some of the major auto markets of the world, Bentley looks forward to increase their vehicle range in the luxury segment. Sales volumes for Volkswagen AG’s Bentley for 2012 would be sustained by the Bentley Continental and Mulsanne vehicles. This apart, there’s talk of a high end sport utility vehicle with a price tag upward of $140,000.

Bentley brand chief, Wolfgang Duerheimer, had this to say. “If we bring this [SUV] to the market it will be positioned significantly above the vehicles that are currently available in this segment. Bentley also is considering new versions of its Continental model. “He further added that Bentley has “ambitious but realistic plans which reflect global economic conditions as much as our new product lineup.”

Bentley sales during the year were at 7003 which was up 37% as compared to sales during 2010. There is no revelation of profit figures for 2011 yet. Through Q1-Q3, The UK luxury carmaker did narrow operating losses to €6 million ($7.8 million) from a whopping €145 million in a 2012 YOY comparison. Taking only US sales into account, Bentley sold 2021 cars in 2011 up 32% as compared to the same period in 2010. China sales came in second with over 50% rise in sales during 2011 as compared to 2010 with 1, 839 cars sold in 2011. The UK carmakers sales figures in Continental Europe saw an increase of 53% and stands at 1,187 cars sold with demand coming primarily from Germany. In UK, despite difficulties, Bentley did post a 5% increase in sales with 1,031 cars sold in 2011.

For Bentley, it is encouraging to see this renewed interest in the brand being noticed in existing and new markets of the world. Volkswagen AG’s Bentley have had a particularly favorable year and are hoping that the current year too will be a positive one for the company as they decide to expand their range to meet growing demand, which is hoped to be “in the double-digit range” for 2012.

Sales numbers and profit projected would be sustainable provided the global economy doesn’t suffer further. An improvement in earnings is likely as Bentley looks at keeping costs under control. The Volkswagen Group will be in a better position to announce full-year earnings of all their vehicle brands in 2012 March. It is now expected that the Bentley SUV project decision would be taken in Q1 of 2012, which is most likely to be a positive one.