Where do you think that most Bentleys have been sold so far this year? The USA? A Middle East country? Maybe even the UK? If you guessed that China now leads the way in Bentley sales then you are quite right and go straight to the top of the class. Those people who said “Mongolia” or “Paraguay” can search for their big pointy cap with a D on it right now.
For the first time ever, the first three months of 2012 saw buyers from the giant Asian country outnumber those from anywhere else. From a total of 1,759 vehicles sold 578 of them were sold to Chinese customers, while 468 went to North American drivers. If my maths are right that leaves a little over 700 Bentleys for the rest of the world.
A Staggering Increase
Perhaps the most interesting statistic is that the 47% increase on last year’s sales figures have been outshone by a staggering 87% jump in sales to China. Their success in 2012 so far is made all the more remarkable by the fact that they never used to sell any cars there just 10 years or so ago, with a few sales in Hong Kong being the closest the company got to this market.
The reason for the boom in Bentleys over in China is of course that the economy is flying, and the £225,000 price of a new one is well within the reach of many more Chinese people than ever before. While economic troubles are hitting hard elsewhere, Chinese drivers are still happy to treat themselves to one of the world’s most desirable car brands.
An appearance at this year’s Beijing Motor Show certainly didn’t harm the Bentley’s profile in China, and the firm’s 4000 workers who are based in Crewe look like they will be kept busy producing these luxury vehicles for many more Chinese drivers.