Covid-related shutdown has ‘been nothing like a recession’ for Bentley, says boss

Jack Evans, PA Motoring Reporter
·2-min read

The period of coronavirus-related shutdown across the UK has been ‘nothing like a recession’ for Bentley, according to its CEO Adrian Hallmark.

Speaking at the launch of the firm’s new Continental GT Speed today, Hallmark said that the company wasn’t experiencing the downturn that many expected following lockdown periods and is instead seeing a real increase in sales and orders.

“We’re not seeing recessionary behaviour – we’re almost seeing a post-war boom”, he said today, adding that buyers were in the mindset of “life is too short and unpredictable to not do the things I should do.”

“We’re 30 per cent up in deliveries and more than 30 per cent up in the rate of order intake.”

The luxury car firm announced record sales for 2020 in January despite the coronavirus pandemic forcing the British firm to close its factory for seven weeks. The firm returned total sales of 11,206 – two per cent higher than 2019’s figures.

Though the company’s sales forecast had been higher prior to the coronavirus pandemic sweeping across the globe, Bentley still managed to return its highest sales in its 101-year history.

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America remains the firm’s biggest-selling region, followed by China – with respective sales of 3,035 and 2,880. Sales in the UK, meanwhile, totalled 1,160 units during 2020.

Hallmark stated that Bentley had taken all manner of precautionary measures due to the upcoming Brexit decision in case a deal had not been made – but that these also helped to put the company in good stead for the coronavirus crisis.

It had even planned for a fleet of air freight planes to be used to ship key components across to the firm’s Crewe headquarters from overseas – but this plan was never required.

Hallmark admitted that during the summer last year, the firm had prepared for a loss of ‘several hundred millions’ but managed to avoid a loss through careful planning and thorough testing of its staff – not a single Bentley employee has contracted Covid-19 from another member of the workforce.