After its sales rose by 37% in 2011, Bentley is launching the new Continental GT V8 in London. The luxury car maker hopes its most fuel-efficient model yet will attract new customers and drive 2012 sales.
UK-BENTLEY - Tradition meets innovation.
Bentley's new Continental GT V8, which has a starting price of 123,000 pounds, is just about to launch in London at the Jack Barclay dealership.
The luxury car maker says this is its most fuel-efficient vehicle yet - with lower CO2 emissions - and hopes it will attract new, younger customers, says Alasdair Stewart, Member of the Bentley Board.
Alasdair Stewart, Member of the Bentley Board, Sales, Marketing and Aftersales, saying
"The car will appeal to people who are maybe currently driving Maseratis or Porsche 911s, maybe looking for a bit more refinement, a bit more quality but not wanting to lose power and performance."
Bentley posted strong sales in 2011, and as a result there are increasing numbers of Bentleys on the roads.
They've only been using this service facility in south London for under a year and they've got room to grow to meet with demand.
This centre services Bentleys from London and around the world - carrying out everything from annual checks and accident repairs to full restoration of classic vehicles, says General Manager Derek Bennett.
Derek Bennett, General Manager, Jack Barclay, saying
"Cars coming in from all over the world, you know we have them from Africa, from Dubai, from Russia, so we can offer a service that's bespoke to each customer, whatever they need we can cater for, so it's a worldwide business because some of the work we do is very specialised."
Bentley sales increased by 37% in 2011.
Many of its competitors like Rolls Royce also posted strong results.
Cars made in Britain are clearly popular at home and abroad, and David Fitzpatrick from automotive agency PFPR Communciations says the UK excels at luxury car manufacturing.
David Fitzpatrick, Development Director at PFPR Communications, saying
"There's a tremendous amount of heritage attached to luxury car makers like Bentley, Rolls Royce, Jaguar and Aston Martin. The interesting thing and a key factor in their ongoing success is that these brands don't just rely on history and heritage, they're absolutely at the pinnacle of luxury manfacturing and they remain the benchmark for the luxury automotive sector worldwide."
German car maker Daimler's announcement at the end of 2011 that it was ending production of its luxury Maybach brand is viewed by Bentley and its rivals as an opportunity to seize more market share.
And Bentley hopes their latest vehicle will also drive 2012 sales higher.
Joanna Partridge, Reuters