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Chinese sales record for Bentley

Broadened horizons: The 2010 Bentley Continental 'GT Design Series China' was engineered and designed exclusively for the Chinese market.

China knocks off the UK to become Bentley’s second-biggest market after the US

23 May 2011

MAINLAND China was Bentley’s second-biggest global market for the first four months of this year, with the boutique British carmaker notching a record-breaking 396 sales to the end of April.

This figure eclipses the previous sales record – attained last year – by 66 per cent, and puts the famed luxury marque well on track to beat last year’s Chinese annual sales record of just under 1000 cars. Around one in four Bentleys sold globally now find homes in China, placing it second only to the United States and – for the first time – ahead of the UK in the company’s global pecking order.

This week will see Bentley hold its worldwide dealer conference in Beijing, which it says is in recognition of China’s importance to the company – an importance that looks set to continue to increase with the release of two new models.

Bentley board member for sales and marketing Alasdair Stewart said the Chinese capital was the perfect venue for Bentley’s Dealer Conference.

“It contains such a vibrant mix of the traditional and the modern and it is now one of our most significant markets,” he said.

“Although China has traditionally been a market for four-door cars such as the Mulsanne and the Continental Flying Spur, there is growing interest in the excitement, adrenalin and sheer fun of driving high-performance sportscar.

“This was clear from the recent Shanghai Auto Show, where half of the 50 cars sold were new Continental GTs – and it is a key reason we are so confident about our future here.”

The new Continental GT – which GoAuto drove in New Zealand earlier this month – and Mulsanne limousine are expected to continue Bentley’s rapid sales growth when they go on sale in China this year.

The company said it will expand its Chinese dealer network by one-third in 2011 and recently opened a new staff training centre in the country to help it retain what it calls the “standards of service and quality that are the hallmarks of Bentley”.

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