Bentley is heading towards an electric future with record sales

The British Bentley is booming. And his ebullient, upbeat boss Adrian Hallmark says it’s just the start, as the Crewe-based Cheshire automaker is undergoing a massive transformation on its journey from luxuriously sporty cars – with powerful but gas-guzzling petrol engines – to full zero-emissions Electrification.

Bentley recently celebrated record results in both sales and profits on its ambitious journey to full electrification, although Hallmark freely admits it’s been a “roller coaster” year.

This boom was driven by customers spending more on customizing high quality bespoke and personalized luxury models, which brought with it a larger profit margin.

Track record: The best seller in 2022 was Bentley's Bentayga with 42% of sales

Track record: The best seller in 2022 was Bentley’s Bentayga with 42% of sales

The record revenue generated – the highest in the company’s 104-year history – will be reinvested internally to create new factory sites in Crewe that are not only amenable to the move to electrification, but also allow Bentley to produce even more of the lucrative personalized cars.

Chairman and Chief Executive Hallmark, who trained as an engineer and metallurgist and is a keen cyclist, may be the architect of the transformation, but he recognizes that the Crewe factory’s 4,000 employees are the heroes of this revolution, including many retrained for the switch.

The numbers alone are impressive. Bentley’s 2022 operating profit of €708m (£622m) represented an increase of €319m (£280m) over 2021 and is almost €1bn (£880m) above losses of €288m (£253m). ) before the 2018 pandemic.

But it was customer spending on lucrative extras, rather than additional sales, that helped total revenue soar 19 percent year-on-year as sales hit 3.38 billion euros (£2.97 billion).

That profit boost came as Bentley also celebrated record sales of 15,174 cars in 2022 — the first time it’s sold more than 15,000 in a year.

It also marked a “significant shift” in buying behavior as well-heeled customers chose more expensive personalized options and “extras” and invested more in exclusive limited edition and body-built “collectibles” – like the Bacalar – each costing around £2million. says trademark.

In fact, the average price of a Bentley sold has risen from €165,000 (£145,000) in 2018 to €220,000 (£193,000) in 2022, thanks to increased demand for personalisation, he adds.

But the best year for sales and financial performance also came amid unprecedented turmoil.

Those little extras – but at a price

The most popular ‘extras’ chosen by Bentley customers to add to the standard list price are…

Rotating display: £4,965

Rotating display: £4,965

At the push of a button, the James Bond-style rotating display gives customers a choice of three dashboard finishes: a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, classic analog dials, or sleek veneer.

Aerodrome: £8,390

Aerodrome: £8,390

Relax in business class seats with the world’s first automatic climate sensing and advanced posture adjustment system. It applies 177 individual pressure changes across six fully independent postural pressure zones.

Hand cross-stitch: £2,570

Hand cross-stitch: £2,570

This needle and thread artisanal work involves placing a single thread between twin stitches throughout the cabin. It takes almost a week of work – but yields an extra level of bespoke craftsmanship.

“We faced so many challenges last year. Ten to be exact. At least four of them could have shut down the store for months,” Hallmark said.

It was a testament to Bentley’s resilience, contingency planning, cost-cutting, restructuring, “value over volume” strategy – and its workforce – that the company not only survived, but thrived in the face of challenges that included wartime parts shortages prospered in Ukraine, economic uncertainty, rampant inflation and Covid, he says.

The strong performance also means Bentley, part of the giant Volkswagen Group, can self-fund its own investments, including €3bn (£2.64bn) in transforming its Crewe plant for electrification and expanding its lucrative bespoke Mulliner branch. It’s also a vote of confidence in the UK.

“We want to fund our own future and be self-sufficient,” Hallmark said.

As part of this “Beyond100” strategy, five new all-electric cars will be launched over a five-year period from 2026.

Bentley aims to electrify its entire range and achieve carbon neutral status by 2030 as it bids farewell to the gas-guzzling 12-cylinder petrol engine. “We’re committed to going fully electric,” says Hallmark.

The top seller in 2022 was Bentley’s Bentayga SUV, with sales up 42 percent, with the Continental GT and convertible accounting for a third. The flagship Flying Spur four-door grand tourer accounted for 28 percent of sales, boosted by a hybrid version.

Eleven of Bentley’s heritage cars – including Speed ​​Six and Team Blower – will appear and race at the Goodwood Members’ Meeting ( this coming weekend (April 15 and 16).

The rush to buy an electric vehicle is contributing to an increase in new registrations

Good news in the UK car market this week as figures showed new registrations in March rose 18.2 per cent year on year – the eighth consecutive month of gains.

A total of 287,825 new vehicles rolled off showrooms last month, up from 243,479 in March last year.

Sign here: Car sales are increasing

Sign here: Car sales are increasing

And sales of pure electric cars hit a record monthly high of 46,626, up 18.6 percent, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) announced.

This was reinforced by a new shipment of Teslas arriving in the UK in March, propelling the Model Y SUV to the top of the sales charts at £44,490 with 8,123 registrations.

However, the data also shows that sales to large fleets, which include large organizations such as government agencies and rental companies, accounted for much of the increase, as sales in those sectors rose nearly 41 percent.

In contrast, sales to individual buyers or general cash-strapped consumers affected by the cost-of-living crisis rose just 1.4 percent compared to 12 months ago.

Best sellers in March were Tesla’s Model Y, followed by the Sunderland-built Nissan Juke and Nissan Qashqai, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, Ford Puma, Vauxhall Corsa, Mini, Toyota Yaris Cross and Ford Fiesta.

The top seller in the first three months of the year so far has been the Nissan Qashqai, followed by the Nissan Juke, Vauxhall Corsa, Tesla Model Y and Kia Sportage.

Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of SMMT said: ‘The new record month of March usually sets the tone for the year so this performance will give the industry and consumers more confidence.’

Electrified “green” vehicles accounted for nearly half (46 percent) of sales, up 16 percent year-on-year.

Ginny Buckley, Founder and CEO of electric car website, said: “It’s reassuring to see the car market continue to grow. However, private buyers are still reluctant to switch to electric cars, which the industry must take seriously.

“We can see from the statistics that petrol superminis are becoming increasingly popular, while at the same time there is a significant shortage of smaller electric cars in the market.

“So it’s now up to automakers to launch smaller, lower-cost models that we desperately need to drive adoption.”

“Supporting the infrastructure with more charging points is key.”

Scared of spiders? Not this one, for sure!

Car design guru Gordon Murray – who has created the iconic McLaren F1 supercar and a host of F1 racers during his distinguished career – has just unveiled his latest creation, an open-topped T.33 Spider that promises to be as practical as he is is high performance.

The car is powered by a mighty 617 hp 3.9-litre naturally aspirated Cosworth GMA.2 V12 engine with two removable roof panels and a sliding rear window.

Touted as “a really viable supercar”, the carbon composite roof panels can be stowed in the 115-litre front luggage compartment, with the two side storage compartments providing an additional 180 liters of storage space.

The open T.33 Spider promises to be as practical as it is powerful

The open T.33 Spider promises to be as practical as it is powerful

It will be hand built alongside its T.33 hardtop brother at Gordon Murray Automotive’s new bespoke global headquarters and technology campus in Windlesham, Surrey.

Professor Murray said: “When I draw a car, I imagine how it feels to sit in it and how it feels to drive. So from the very first sketch, I knew the T.33 Spider, with its open cockpit and incredible Cosworth GMA.2 V12 engine right behind you, would offer a truly immersive driving experience second to none.”

But even though it’s a mid-engined supercar, he insisted, “I wouldn’t compromise on usability. For this reason, the T.33 Spider is unique in the supercar sector, offering both integrated overhead storage and a luggage capacity of 295 litres.”

Limited to just 100 models, around half of which are said to have already been sold, the Spider is set to go into production in 2025.

The price is expected to start at around £1.9 million.

Better start saving…

Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on this, we may earn a small commission. This helps us fund This Is Money and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow a business relationship to compromise our editorial independence.

Related Articles

Back to top button