Luxury Carmaker Bentley Sales Surge in 2011

U.S. sales up 32%, Europe up 53%, China sales almost doubled

German-owned British luxury carmaker Bentley said on Jan. 3 that its sales surged last year on the back of strong performances in China and the United States, the world's two biggest auto markets.

Total sales soared 37% to 7,003 vehicles last year, said Volkswagen's upmarket British-based division in a results statement.

Bentley, which is headquartered in Crewe, northwestern England, said sales rocketed by 69% in December alone to 1,059 cars, compared with the same month in 2010.

The United States remained the group's number one market with a total of 2,021 car sales in 2011 -- 32% higher than in 2010.

But demand was also particularly strong in China, where sales almost doubled to a record 1,839 -- making it the company's second-largest market.

Sales in continental Europe increased 53% to 1,187 vehicles led by strong demand in Germany where sales jumped 88%.

In domestic market Britain, where the company said conditions were particularly challenging, Bentley sold 1,031 cars in 2011, up 5%.

"It has been a tremendously good year for Bentley," Bentley's chairman and chief executive Wolfgang Durheimer said.

"The dramatic sales growth reflects a global strength to the brand and a recognition of the quality, craftsmanship and engineering excellence of our cars," he said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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