One country is to credit for Bentley's astounding sales this year.
Although the coronavirus pandemic is still very much with us, automakers are continuing to report solid sales, all things considered. While some are faring better than others, luxury brands have been among the best performing. And Bentley is one of them. The ultra-luxury British brand has already begun 2021 with a bang following a 50 percent increase in orders since the beginning of last year. In fact, it built more cars last month than it did in January 2020. The reason? China. Demand in the world's largest automotive market continues to be hot, Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark told Reuters.
"China, by far, is the most outstanding performance in the world in respect of level of orders compared with normal expectations," he said. Hallmark did not provide a precise breakdown for the most popular models in China, but we highly suspect the winner is the Bentley Bentayga, which received an extensive refresh for the 2021 model year.
Other recent reveals include the Flying Spur V8 and the $1.9 million Mulliner Bacalar, limited to a mere 12 examples, all of which were quickly spoken for. Bentley's best-selling region overall continues to be North America with a total of 3,035 units sold there last year, an increase of 4 percent over 2019. China followed closely behind with 2,880 units, a staggering year-over-year increase of 48 percent. At this rate, China could overtake America as Bentley's best market this year.
This past November, Bentley made the bold announcement it plans to become an all-electric brand by 2030, meaning its wonderful twin-turbo V8 and W12 combustion engines are officially on borrowed time.
Prior to that year, Bentley says every model in its range will be available with a hybrid variant by 2023. The first pure battery-electric model will debut in 2025 and it'll ride on an all-new platform. By 2026, the entire lineup will be plug-in hybrids and battery-electrics. The automaker surveyed its loyal customers and learned that an impressive 55 percent would consider an electrified Bentley within the next five years, so it has no doubt it's making the right decision.
It's also wise to stay ahead of new emissions regulations. EVs are increasing in popularity in China as well and Bentley is making sure it'll be in a prime position to deliver on that demand.