While it can feel the like the world is rather short on good news stories right now, there is at least some cause for cheer in Crewe. In a record year for Bentley Motors, it delivered 14,659 cars in 2021. A 31 per cent increase on 2020 - itself, remarkably, a record year - the sales performance for last year seemingly puts Bentley on a strong footing as its path to electrification continues.
Buyers were evidently not deterred by the comparatively sluggish start to battery-powered Bentleys; one in five of 2021 Bentayga sales accounted for by the latest Hybrid in its first proper full year on sale. Overall, 40 per cent of Bentley sales were for the SUV in 2021 - just in case the concept required any further validation. The Continental GT took a 33 per cent share (with two thirds of those for the coupe), and the final 27 per cent spoken for by the four-door Flying Spur, also in its first full year in showrooms. An increase in that stake is expected, however, for 2022, with the Hybrid version of the saloon on sale soon.
In terms of markets, the Americas unsurprisingly kept number one spot for Bentley in '21, its 4,212 units representing a substantial 39 per cent increase on 2020's return. In fact, the US, China, and Asia Pacific regions all enjoyed double digit growth and record years. European buyers purchased 2,520 Bentleys in 2021, compared to 2,193 in 2020, with 1,328 of those staying in the UK - nine per cent of overall cars delivered. As well as being 14 per cent up on 2020, that's more than the entire Middle East (915 cars) - we Brits do love a Bentley!
Adrian Hallmark, Bentley CEO and Chairman, said: "2021 was yet another year of unpredictability though I am delighted to be able to confirm that we overcame significant headwinds, and deliver a breakthrough in our sales performance... These numbers are validation that we not only lead the sector in sales and market share, but also investment in electric technologies and commitment to being the first fully electrified and zero carbon luxury car company in the world." With new models imminent, and the excellent Continental GT Speed ready for its first full year of sales in 2022, don't be surprised if the next 12 months delivers another record for the brand.
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