Bentley Sales Hit Record In 2013

Tyler Durden's picture

While Ford and GM struggle somewhat, demand for the eilte-of-the-elite Bentley is soaring. As BusinessWeek reports, 2013 saw the firm sell 10,120 vehicles worldwide - dominated by the Americas - a 19% rise over 2012. Coincidentally, since Fed policy went extreme, Bentley has seen double-digit growth rates each and every year leading to the best performance in its 95-year history. As BusinessWeek ironically notes, it requires no small amount of consumer confidence to roll away in a Bentley Mulsanne, which has a sticker price just shy of $300,000.


Via BusinessWeek,

The luxury car brand said yesterday that it sold a record 10,120 vehicles worldwide last year, a 19 percent increase over the year prior. That was Bentley’s best performance in its 95-year history and its fourth straight year of double-digit volume gains. Bentley Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Schreiber said the sales bump establishes his charge “as the most sought-after luxury car brand in the world.” Achtung, Daimler!



Why the heady sales pace? For one, Bentley is getting a nice boost from the economy at large, specifically a bullish stock market. It requires no small amount of consumer confidence to roll away in a Bentley Mulsanne, which has a sticker price just shy of $300,000.




The end goal? Bentley is hoping to sell 15,000 cars a year by 2018. Assuming an average price around $300,000 and Bentley’s hoped-for 21 percent return, that’s a profit of almost $1 billion for Volkswagen. Luxurious indeed.


Thank you Ben-tley Bernanke...

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Fuh Querada's picture

How long do these vehicles take to charge up?

krispkritter's picture

And I thought only Tesla had a 'boom'?

WayBehind's picture

Tesla? That was a different kind of "BOOOM" ... followed by a fire

walküre's picture

Remove SNAP and see how many they're selling./sarc

aVileRat's picture

Bentley, Bugatti & Rolls are largely sold on trade credit to lease companies. Unlike Aston, Jag, BMW or Porsche who sell mostly to direct retail consumers, nobody actually Drives a Bentley as a driver/collection toy. Imagine your standard fleet of GM trucks. Now divide the number of fleet vehicles for your rig or trucking crew by 20, and assume your lease fleet is only being used for Hollywood agents. Not rocket science, just more expensive carpets. Channel stuffing included.

The key story here is that dumb money is chasing the toys they think will make them feel rich. This is the same beta call which is also driving the record number of sticker number sales at R&M / Christies car auctions over the past 2 years on 'brand name' car lots.

TideFighter's picture

Imagine traveling thru Atlanta in your Bentley when the coming shitstorm hits. 

What's the best tuna? "Chicken-of-the-Sea!!" 

willwork4food's picture

Imagine the looks on the owners faces when their mechanic tells them they're gonna need a new engine because one of the 95%ers thoughtfully added a red bull to the gas tank.

Rainman's picture

I can't understand the creepy vibes that you'd have to get from spending 300 grand on a Volkswagen

maskone909's picture

damn skippy.  and good luck repairing it if it should have a problem.  i am perfectly happy with my 92 civic turbo, with no payments ;)

shepherd's picture

What legendary luxury cars does America produce. Must have missed it.

At least it doesn't belong to FIAT like Chrysler does;

America, the joke that keeps on giving.

Bunga Bunga's picture

... cause it's made by heavily unionized workers. They know where to get quality.

krispkritter's picture

Anyone else find it ironic that the 'People's Car' company owns this brand and charges $300k for it? 

Freddie's picture

The Chosen 1% People's Car not the little people's car.   It is just a big Audi and they sell more of their $80,000 versions and not that many $300K ones.  Bentleys are hugely overrated. 

Dr. Destructo's picture

The 1% will be going after the $1 mil+ Maybachs.

chindit13's picture

You’re off by quite a bit there, fella.  It’s two lakh dollars for the entry level W12 Continental, and a bit more if you choose the upgraded version.  For the new V8 you’d still pay about $180K.  Overrated?  Put one through its paces and see if you might not choose another word.

Now pardon some people for choosing to enjoy life rather than spend every waking moment in depression and rage that the world is not perfect or how they would arrange it if they were King or God, but there is something to be said for appreciating the skill and craftsmanship evident in something like a Bentley.  It’s like sitting in your Medieval salon, enjoying a glass of wine and a good book, and seeing the chiseled stone and carved woodwork than adorns your walls and ceilings, marveling at the quality of work, and toasting the ones who left their mark eight or ten centuries ago.  They are long since dust, but they left something of themselves behind, something you are incapable of accomplishing yourself, but which you can nevertheless appreciate and admire.  You honor their efforts by maintaining their creation, and take seriously your role as but a temporary custodian of the art, so that others not yet born will be able to enjoy it, too.  Human greatness comes in many forms, and not all production is done out of pure utilitarian necessity.

Out in the garage you have something more modern, but something designed and built with the same pride and same attention to detail that the stone masons and wood carvers displayed when finishing your drawing room.  There’s carefully selected and matched burr walnut veneer on the dash and console, sanded, buffed and polished so that it’s as smooth as a baby’s bottom.  Every fixture is a perfect fit, every stitch in the seats---all hand done---uniform and in perfect alignment, because those who did the work knew it was their signature and that it would exist for a hundred years or hopefully, a lot more.  There’s an unmistakable sound as you close the door, hinting at the car’s strength and announcing its build quality.  Push the starter button, and unlike most production cars, the engine does not act like you are disturbing it; it merely reports for duty and lets you know it is ready to do what you ask it to do.  Roll it out into the driveway, and it makes hardly any more noise than a Prius or Tesla.  On town or city roads it is well behaved, comfortable and comforting.  Take it on to the highway, and its thoroughbred breeding shows.  Push your foot down a little, and well before five seconds have passed you’re at highway speed and then some, and your backside has just had thrilling physical proof of one of Newton’s Laws of motion.  Should the need arise to stop, and knowing how heavy the vehicle is, you’ll think one of Newton’s other laws has been rescinded.  If a stop is not required, you might find yourself overtaking everyone else on the road, and you’ll wonder why they are all going so slowly.  Then you look at the speedometer and see you’ve topped a hundred, and you’re surprised because it feels like fifty in most any other car.  You realize that, if you choose to avail yourself of it, there’s a heck of a lot more on offer from those twelve cylinders and twin turbos in front of you.  You’re smiling, just as you smile each and every time you get behind the wheel.  Smiling is good.

No doubt the exact numbers are available somewhere, but it is easy to believe that upwards of eighty-five percent of all the Bentleys ever produced are still on the road today.  What percent of Fords, Chevys and AMCs---not even counting the Pintos, Vegas and Gremlins---are still in use?

People on this site get a woody talking about the killing power of all their many guns, or fondling their stacks of shiny metals.  They don’t criticize each other for their attachment or near worship of these material things, or preach about what other more noble deeds could have been done with the purchase funds, and no one takes exception when many boast of their skill at using the former for its sole intended purpose: killing.  Oh yes, it’s only self-defense.  (There must be some severe cognitive dissonance in the peanut gallery if someone buys a Purdey rather than a Mossberg.) Well, both of those possessions---guns and gold--- are acquired out of fear.  Why is it some crime for others, who admittedly have been lucky in life and in an unfair Universe, to acquire well-made works of art, not out of fear, but simply as another way to enjoy this brief moment of existence?  Heck, even ZH’s own seemingly ever-dour honestann probably cracks a smile when she expertly side slips her not-totally utilitarian Pipistrel Virus SW into a short strip in the back of beyond.  And everyone’s second favorite developing nation populace---Indians---buys the majority of its gold for pleasure and personal adornment.  That it might retain value is just a bonus.

We tend to cherish the vestiges of history, whether it’s St. Sophia, the Elgin Marbles, or even a King’s shield.  We appreciate the beauty, and tend to overlook that their creators worked for the elite, and probably did not labor under the best conditions.  At the very least, today’s equally skilled craftsmen in the Bentley plant operate in a more benign environment, even if they do it for the same 1% as was the case for most every enduring work of art in human history.

And when PMs take their next tumble, and you’re in “back up the truck” mode, you could do worse than taking a loving look at your newest bargain-priced ingots in the trunk, then just pushing that little button on the boot to politely lower and secure the lid back into place, your ‘money’ chauffeured home in refined luxuriousness.  Or you could just join the Franciscans and live the life of the ascetic monk, eschewing any and all possessions.

tchild2's picture

Your descriptive prose was as well crafted and smooth as the Bentley itself. All of a sudden I have the urge to sell my gold and splurge it all on a fine Bentley.

dizzyfingers's picture

For when their owner's $20M shack is foreclosed upon...

Flakmeister's picture

I wonder if the alarm goes off when they get keyed? 

Soul Glow's picture

Buying a Bentley will mean you have the finest women going after all your money.

DavidC's picture

If the women are as ugly as these Bentleys are, I'll forgo the pleasure.


Xibalba's picture

This is who Bernanke was referring to...'They are getting auto loans'  

prains's picture

when you have more money than brains, Bentley is the only choice.........



(makings of a good advertisement)

krispkritter's picture

Can you fit 'large ego' and 'small penis' in there somewhere?

NOTaREALmerican's picture

The peasants worship the Bentley drivers because they all know that - someday - their above average kids will be drive a Bentley.

It's one of the things that makes America great.

Spungo's picture

Peasants. I'm so ballin that I drive a motorhome. I get to write it off as a business expense because I sleep in it when I make business trips to DC to bribe politicians.

B.J. Worthy's picture

"You know, a lot of people say this [asset buying] is just helping rich people. But it’s not true. Our policy is aimed at holding down long-term interest rates, which supports the recovery by encouraging spending. And part of the [economic stimulus] comes through higher house and stock prices, which causes people with homes and stocks to spend more, which causes jobs to be created throughout the economy and income to go up throughout the economy." -- Ol' Yellen

wmbz's picture

The Bentleys of old, 50's,60's,70's looked 100% better than these wannabe half assed bling boxes. They look like a Ford.

flapdoodle's picture

"Bentleys of old" looked *exactly* like Rolls Royce except for the grill. On the other hand, the blue Bentley Continental GT that the rich woman drives in "Breaking Bad" is sublime. I would gladly trade my mother for one (she probably wouldn't mind).

no more banksters's picture

"... a country that in the last three years has lost 25% of its GDP, for a country in which, if you add to this 25% taxes, inflation, for the average citizen this is equivalent to losing 38% - 40% of his disposable income."

Atomizer's picture

I think after you drive a Bentley, you'll walk away with a grin. I wouldn't buy one. Could buy two new M5's and a used M3 and have more fun behind the wheel. Just my opinion. Still think it's a sharp car, just not something I would desire to piss away that type of money. 

The 22nd Prime's picture

I live in South Florida. Super cars are everywhere. An associate I know has totalled two Bentleys. But its not what you think. His first one he was driving on I-95 and a dude jumped in front of his car to kill himself. At the time I was suprised they would total a car for a busted grill and windshield. I was blown away when the radio was jacked out of his replacement car and the insurance company totalled that car too.

DoubleTap's picture

I'm going to guess that 75% of sales are around D.C. This reminds me of the article I read that the Lambo dealership by D.C. profits weren't as high as they'd like. Not because they weren't selling enough, but that nobody was financing their Lambo.

And both of these for some reason make me think of the capitol in Hunger Games.

_SILENCER's picture

I see Bentleys like fucking crazy here in so cal. In fact, there's a Lamborghini Aventador here on the Universal lot today...and it's a bloody gorgeous spaceship of a car.

I know the aforementioned Lambo is celebrity owned, but I wonder what all these cats that are buying these Bentleys around town are doing for a living. There has to be some shady shit going on with all that proliferation.

Dre4dwolf's picture

When you give 0.5% of the population the ability to print money at will................. don't be surprised when they spend it all on drugs cars and sex.

reader2010's picture

When the ruling ideology was Christianity in Europe,  the rich used to buy hand-copied Bible to show off their wealth during the Middle Ages. Fast forward to consumerism, the ideology of the day, the rich... 

KingTut's picture

Just because this car is built by a subisdiary of VW, doesn't mean its not an amazing car.  Bugatti, Audi, Lambroghini are also owned and built by VW.  I think Porsche is now part of the family.

The Bentley is awsome road rocket: very comfortable and very fast.  If you have to drive long distances frequently, this is the ticket.  You'll get lots of them. Better yet, you're too comfortable to drive like those idiots who crashed the Porsche Carrera BBQ.

That said, the leases are incredibly reasonable for the 1% compared to the actual (stupid) price. About $2K per month. 

The intersting thing here is not the car, but the simple fact that people are leasing and drving these things.  If you think the 1% aren't getting richer, get a clue.

BTW: in the depression America built the world's best luxury super-car: Duesenberg.

shepherd's picture

"Duesenberg" doesn't sound particularily english to me.