Bentley is Big in China

China is currently one of the world’s fastest growing economies, with gross domestic product (GDP) numbers jumping in double-digits year to year. As a result of this, the country’s rich have a lot of spare cash to spend on exclusive luxury car brands.

One of the most prestigious carmakers in the world, Bentley Motors Limited, is thus hoping it will double its sales in the country. ”Our annual sales in China this year will be at least double the figure in 2009 and probably hit 1,000, as we see strong growth momentum here,” said Zheng Biao, Director and General Manager of Bentley’s Chinese division, in an interview with China Daily.

Right now the Chinese division has eleven stores spread across the country, but the company will open eleven more stores next year in China’s smaller cities such as Shenyang, Dalian, Taiyuan and Xi’an. Bentley’s five year plan is to reach a total number of thirty such stores by 2014.

The total cost of Bentley’s investment will come to around CNY300 million ($45 million). However, the company promises to add more investment to the expansion of its dealership network and brand advertising, though Zhang did not give an exact figure.

In the first part of the year, Bentley Motors has sold a total of 376 cars, which is more than double the number sold in the same period last year. But other luxury brands are doing just as well: Rolls-Royce, for example, has sold 678 of its cars in the first five months of this year (again more than double as compared to the same period of time last year), while Maserati enjoys a more modest 60 percent increase.

“The potential of the luxury car market in China is limitless, as the number of wealthy people is constantly growing. A person who owns 50 million yuan can probably afford at least one Bentley car,” said Zheng. That sounds like a bubble in the market to us, but at least Chinese millionaire playboys make better owners than Footballers.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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