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The good times return to Bentley and Maserati

Wed, 09 Jul 2014

By Tim Pollard

Motor Industry

09 July 2014 11:35

Bentley and Maserati today both reported record sales in the first half of 2014 - putting both luxury car brands on track for another record year.

Crewe said global sales leaped by 23% in the first six months of the year, while Maserati said it had posted a 223% increase in UK sales in the same period.

It's a world away from the ugly years of the recession, when sales of luxury cars collapsed and Bentley had to wind down production.

Crewe's previous record was set in 2013, when it posted the highest deliveries, turnover and profit in its 95-year history. With a recovering global economy, the more prosperous corners of the world are now turning back to luxury items and Bentley is raking it in.

Total worldwide sales in the first six months of the year stood at 5254 cars, compared with 4279 vehicles shifted in the same period in 2013.

Surprise, surprise, the Chinese car market saw the biggest growth, with 61% more Bentleys sold in the region in the first half of 2014. Sales in the Middle East, too, jumped by 27%.

Bentley said the demand in these two key markets was fuelled by the launch of the V8 Continental models and new Flying Spur.

It's news like this which makes you realise why Bentley is investing heavily in its new SUV, which has now been confirmed for sale in 2016.

The Bentley-on-stilts will be manufactured in Crewe at the rate of around 3500 units a year. This suggests the company is likely to swell global sales by around a third, just through the simple introduction of this luxury 4x4.

Although China and the Middle East saw rocketing sales, the Americas remain the biggest market for Bentley sales, accounting for 1388 cars (up a more modest 8% on the previous year). The US is just ahead of China, which sold 1318 in the first half of the year.

The UK is Bentley's fourth biggest market with 713 sales, just pipped by a rampant Germany with 825. The football World Cup mirrors Bentley sales, it seems...

Maserati today reported it had sold 564 cars in Great Britain in the first half of 2014, fuelled by the arrival of the new Ghibli executive car and the refreshed Quattroporte range.

Both are now available with diesel engines, expanding the appeal of the Maser range. And the company is now actively touting for fleet business, explaining why a brand that was once considered out-of-reach is now becoming a feasible company car option.

By Tim Pollard