Bentley has confirmed that 2020 was its best ever year for new car sales, despite the global effects of the pandemic.
The British luxury brand claims to have delivered 11,206 cars to new owners worldwide last year. That’s a 2% increase over 2019 and the highest figure in the company’s 101-year history.
The news is especially significant when considering the extent of production disruption during lockdowns. Bentley's factory in Crewe was shut down for seven weeks following the first national lockdown in March, with production running at 50% of usual output for nine more weeks after that.
Bentley was forced into a “comprehensive” redesign of its facilities to meet demand while maintaining social distancing and safety protocols, it claims.
As with previous years, the Americas (both North and South) remained the firm’s biggest market. However, China, a market that recovered quickly after swift action to curb the pandemic, posted a year-on-year increase of 48% to become Bentley’s second-largest region.
Europe and the UK posted 18% and 22% decreases on 2019, meanwhile, showing the regions where the pandemic disruption has lasted the longest.
While the Bentayga SUV remains the company's biggest-selling model, with a 37% sales share, despite delays to the facelifted car’s introduction, the Continental GT and Continental GT Convertible took 39% of sales combined.
Bentley also claims the recently launched Flying Spur received a “phenomenal reception” from customers, particularly in saloon-friendly China.