For a significant part of the brand’s life, Bentley was in the shadow of then owner, Rolls-Royce. At times, less than 500 Bentleys were produced a year. That all changed in the early 2000’s with a new parent company and the introduction of the now legendary Continental GT.
Sales have grow steadily since the 2003 debut of the Conti GT to a record 11,000 cars last year. The uber-luxury marque is getting ready to launch the first Bentley SUV in 2016. SEO Durheimer has say he expects the Bentayga will sell 3,000 to 4,000 units in 2016, based on current projections.
Some media outlets and analysts have suspected that Bentley is being to conservative with their projections. One recent story speculated on the addition of 4,500 copies of the Bentayga, plus a newer, more affordable sportscar (the Speed 6 perhaps?), plus the continued growth of the existing product line and concluded Bentley sales could number 20,000 by 2020.
Speaking to Gulf Business at the Qatar Motor Show, Bentley Board member Kevin Rose talked about his views on the growth at Bentley. “[He] believes that the Bentayga could place Bentley on the road to much higher vehicle sales, but dismisses the reported target of 20,000 vehicle sales annually by 2020, carried in a German newspaper, as a “piece of speculation”.”
“It [20,000] can’t be done realistically and we wouldn’t want to do it with the current product range. We would be forcing sales too much. It would come by adding others. So with the SUV, if the markets run well, its possible we could grow from 11 thousand to say 14 or 15 thousand.”
For Bentley sales to continue growing, he went on to suggest, Bentley would need another product line in addition to some more derivates of their existing models. He told the reporter that the British brand has “plenty of ideas” and it was simply a case of when they can be financed and brought to the market.