2013 has been a year of key landmarks and achievements for Bentley and its customers.
The company confirmed it will build the world’s fastest and most luxurious SUV at its Crewe headquarters, creating a further 1,000 jobs at Bentley and its suppliers, as well as taking Bentley drivers ‘off-road’ for the first time in the marque’s history. UK Prime Minister David Cameron joined Bentley colleagues to celebrate the news and the start of an £800 million investment programme.
Additionally, three new Bentley models, including the acclaimed Flying Spur sedan, the Continental 4.0 litre GT V8 S and the world’s fastest four-seat production convertible, the 202 mph 6.0 litre Continental GT Speed Convertible, were launched. Meanwhile, the dramatic Continental GT3 race car spearheaded the company’s return to top-level, international motorsport.
Strong sales increases were recorded through the first three quarters of 2013 (delivering a total of 6,516 cars against 5,969 in 2012) and Bentley’s international representation was strengthened with 23 dealerships opening in locations from Bucharest, Lyon and Minsk through to Hanoi (Vietnam) and the famous Silk Road city of Urumqi.
Bentley further expanded its luxury goods portfolio with the introduction of a Handbag Capsule Collection and innovative Bentley Home Collection featuring a range of designer furniture inspired by the craftsmanship found inside every Bentley car.
Other key highlights included celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Her Majesty The Queen’s Coronation by playing a headlining role at a special gathering of over 200 Royal Warrant Holders in the grounds of Buckingham Palace this July.
The company’s famous Crewe headquarters celebrated 75 years of continuous engine production whilst also looking to the future when 20,000 solar panels (with a capacity of 5MW) were installed on the roof of Bentley’s factory. It is anticipated that at peak generation times, the system will produce up to 40% of Bentley’s energy requirements and reduce CO2 usage by over 2,500 tonnes per year.
2013 BENTLEY NEWS HIGHLIGHTS
• JANUARY. The new 202 mph Continental GT Speed Convertible, world’s fastest four-seat convertible announced.
• MARCH. New Flying Spur luxury sedan debuts at Geneva. Bentley launches UK’s largest rooftop Solar Power Installation at Crewe HQ.
• APRIL. Global 1st quarter sales increase by + 25.75% over same period in 2012. His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex visits Bentley.
• MAY. Bentley Blowers compete in classic Mille Miglia race in Italy. Bentley partners Club House Italia with new Bentley Home Collection – exclusive furniture combining craftsmanship with exquisite modern design. Bentley announces collaboration with London’s luxury men’s lifestyle brand Pankhurst. Bentley craftsmen renovate six barbers chairs incorporating materials and finishes from Bentley cars.
• JUNE. 10th Anniversary of Bentley’s 2003 Le Mans Victory and 75th Anniversary of engine production at the Crewe factory.
• JULY. Continental GT3 makes dynamic debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed. Bentley headline sponsor of Coronation Festival in gardens of Buckingham Palace. Bentley State Limousine displayed at celebrations.
• JULY cont. Prime Minister David Cameron and Dr Martin Winterkorn (Chairman of the Board Volkswagen Group) visit Bentley and confirm £800 million investment in company as SUV project goes ahead. Half year sales increase + 9 % over 2012 figures with 4, 279 customer cars delivered.
• AUGUST. Bentley Handbag Capsule Collection at prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, California. Features two distinct models – The Barnato and The Continental.
• SEPTEMBER. New Continental 4.0 litre GT V8 S announced at IAA Frankfurt. Bentley’s Facebook hits 1 Million Likes from enthusiasts and customers. Famous Blue Train Bentley wins overall prize at St. James’s Palace.
• OCTOBER. Third quarter results show continued sales growth.
• 6, 516 cars delivered representing a + 9 % increase over 2012.
• NOVEMBER. New Bentley Boys announced. Guy Smith, Andy Meyrick and Steven Kane confirmed for the car’s first test race, the Gulf 12 Hours at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, 13th December 2013.
• DECEMBER. Bentley Continental GT3 finishes in a highly impressive fourth place in opening test race in Abu Dhabi.