British upmarket brand Bentley is planning to double its sales to 20,000 a year, according to a newspaper report in Germany.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung says CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer revealed the new target, set to be achieved by the end of the decade.
The news comes as the Volkswagen group, which owns Bentley, is hellbent on becoming the world’s biggest car maker. And while the bulk of that extra volume will come from its mainstream brands such as VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat, its premium crown jewels - Porsche, Bentley and Bugatti - will deliver huge chunks of profit from their higher margins.
Bentley new-car sales ‘to double’
'Mr Duerheimer did say we are aiming for 20,000 a year by the end of the decade - it's a nice goal to have,' a spokesman confirmed to CAR magazine. If Bentley does achieve the target, that would represent a doubling of its 2013 sales.
Originally, the company had hoped to grow last year’s 10,120 deliveries to 15,000 by 2018. But the latest forecasts suggest new models, including 2016’s SUV, will turbocharge sales even further.
And extra new models are in the pipeline, as Bentley diversifies from its Continental and Mulsanne core ranges.
A far cry from the bad old days
The fortunes of companies such as Bentley are closely linked to the global economy. Bentley sales were poleaxed overnight in the 2008 recession, as its core audience slammed its wallets shut. Sales plummeted, jobs were lost and factories slowed down.
But now the markets are recovering, so are Bentley sales. Crewe expects to announce another sales record in 2014, set for the second consecutive year.
The key for Bentley is to plot a path for sustainable growth, and that's where models such as the SUV come in. It might be anathema to some purists, but with global demand for 4x4s still soaring, it's a new revenue stream that many car makers cannot resist.