Bentley has sold more cars in the UK already than it did in the whole of last year thanks to the introduction of the ‘baby’ £110,000 Continental GT four seat, sports coupe.
Sales have pushed ahead of the 270 Bentleys sold in 2003 and Andy Watt, Regional Marketing Communications Director for the UK, Middle East and Asia Pacific markets said
"The luxury maker plans 4,000 sales this year rising eventually to 9,000 cars a year rolling off the Crewe production line."
Volkswagen, which now owns Bentley, has invested £217 million pounds in Bentley since it bought the business in 1998 with £63 million of that spent at Crewe in new production facilities for the 12-cylinder Continental GT.
Currently Bentley employs 3,200 people at the Crewe headquarters and assembly plant with 850 people taken on in the past 18 months.
A second production line shift was started in January this year in readiness for the increased production of Arnage and GT models. Current production is running at 104 GT and 14 Arnage models a week. It takes 2.5 months to build each Arnage and 168 hours to build a Continental GT.
Orders placed now for the new £152,000 Bentley Arnage car will be delivered in October but customers ordering the new Continental GT will not take delivery of their car until mid 2005.
Watt said that in the high luxury sector of the world car market for cars costing more than £150K, Bentley currently has 50 per cent of the market with the Arnage.
Currently Bentley has 127 dealers worldwide and 16 in the UK. This will increase to 22 UK dealers this year with premises opening in Newcastle, Cardiff, Edinburgh, West London, Jersey and Kent.
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