Bentley’s Record $232 Million First Quarter Profits Came Mostly From Car Customizations, CEO Says
Looks like Bentley has another record to celebrate—and it’s mainly because of personalization.
After the British marque saw profits surge to $754 million in 2022, a figure that was nearly double its previous top year in 2021, it has now reported its best first quarter ever as operating profits reached about $232 million (€216 million). And Bentley’s CEO says the latest explosive increase is largely thanks to car customizations.
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In an interview with CNBC, Adrian Hallmark said consumers want to personalize their vehicles with special paints, colors, and other details. “Customers are choosing one of our 62 paint colors, the 43 leathers we offer, and lots of options,” Hallmark told the publication. “So, it’s a total shift in the configuration of the vehicle. And they’re buying the top models, like the Speed version of the Continental GT, rather than base edition.”
To further underscore the point, Hallmark said over the past four years, the average price of a Bentley sold by the company increased by 40 percent—and only 9 percent of that growth is due to an increase in model price.
“The whole world of luxury is changing,” Hallmark explained. “It’s not just cars, it’s fashion, everything. If customers are going to spend that kind of money on something, they’d rather pay a little more for the upgrade or option to have something truly special.”
The British marque’s Mulliner division, housed in its Crewe factory, is delivering a record number of one-of-a-kind cars, with some customers asking for their names or family crests embroidered on the seats, according to CNBC. Nearly three-quarters of buyers are shelling out over $6,000 to equip their Continental model with a rotating display—where a section of the dashboard flips from a plain carbon face to provide an infotainment touchscreen—in one of the car’s most in-demand customizations.
Speaking of the Continental, the GT S iteration was this year’s Robb Report Car of the Year. With its 568 ft lbs of torque, 542 hp, and a sleek design, the vehicle was a genius nod to the automaker’s R2 Continental from 1952.
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