Luxury car maker Bentley breaks sales record in 2021.

Luxury car maker Bentley breaks sales record in 2021.

Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid Iceland

British luxury motoring legend Bentley has announced record sales – up nearly a third – as it charges ahead with ambitious plans to electrify its entire range of cars.

It highlighted unprecedented demand for its petrol-electric hybrid models – spearheaded by the Bentayga SUV, priced from £158,000, and the new Flying Spur limousine, which costs from £164,000, as it announced record deliveries of 14,659 cars to its customers worldwide in 2021.

Overall sales increased 31 per cent on its previous record year in 2020 and saw Bentley, which is part of the VW Group, buck the motor industry’s decline in sales triggered by a computer chip shortage.

Bentley’s biggest seller is the Bentayga, with 40 per cent of sales, which puts the £170,000-plus Continental GT luxury grand tourer in second place, with 33 per cent of sales.

While a heavy luxury SUV could hardly be described as green, well-heeled customers are increasingly flocking to buy Bentley’s hybrid version 4×4.

Some 1 in 5 Bentayga sales were of new hybrid models, it revealed, as it reinforced its commitment to being ‘the first fully electrified and zero carbon luxury car company in the world.’

Based in Crewe, Bentley celebrated double digit growth in all markets – with record sales figures in the US, China and Asia Pacific regions.

The major export drive saw the Americas – principally the USA – remain the number one market with its highest ever sales figure.

The Americas and China together contributed 56 per cent of Bentley’s total global sales.

In 2020, despite the pandemic, Bentley sold a then record 11,206 luxury vehicles.

Bentley bosses said its results were a testament to the workforce and the measures taken to continue production despite Covid, logistical issues and the global shortage of semiconductor computer chips needed in modern cars.

The imminent launch of the new Flying Spur Hybrid variant is set to boost the model’s 27 per cent of total sales even further in 2022, it said.

Announcing the record results Bentley said: ‘This significant achievement was driven by new model introductions, a fresh product portfolio and increasing demand for Bentley’s new hybridised models, introduced under Bentley’s Beyond100 strategic path to full electrification by 2030.

Bentley Motors chairman and chief executive Adrian Hallmark said of 2021: ‘It 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.

‘This is our second record sales year in the successive years and is a positive sign of our brand strength, operational excellence, strong global demand and affirmation of our strategic priorities.’

Highlighting the British luxury brand’s acceleration towards electrification, Mr Hallmark said: ‘The reaction to the market introduction of the Bentayga Hybrid and anticipation for Flying Spur Hybrid demonstrate the path the luxury sector is heading, and we are positioned firmly at the forefront.

‘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.’

As part of a recent Volkswagen Group internal re-organisation ahead of greater electrification, Bentley now falls under the umbrella of group brand Audi, which already has a growing performance electric-car line up.

British luxury rival Rolls-Royce, based at Goodwood, in Sussex, and part of the BMW Group is expected next week to announce similarly encouraging sales figures.

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