Slowdown in China puts a dent in sales for luxury car maker Bentley but more and more customers are looking to add individual style to their cars.
Luxury car maker Bentley has reported a fall in sales for 2023 partly due to a slowdown in high-end consumer sales in China where sales fell 18%.
The British manufacturer revealed it sold 13,560 luxury cars last year, down 11% from 2022, the year which produced Bentley’s best-ever result.
Bentley said difficult market conditions were continuing, although it had seen 5% growth in Asia Pacific and individual growth of 2% for the Middle East, India and Africa.
Luxury personalisation boosts business
However, the company revealed, interest in luxury personalisation has surged higher than ever before.
Around three-quarters of customers – a 43% rise over 2022 – chose to order bespoke additions, demonstrating the desire for unique exclusivity within the brand, it said.
The SUV Bentayga model continues to be Bentley’s number one seller, accounting for 44% of total sales and making it the world’s best-selling luxury SUV.
Despite also recording an 18% fall in sales in the UK, Bentley’s home market is the top buyer of hybrid models, with 27% of customers in 2023 choosing a hybrid option.
Interest in hybrid models increases
Commenting on the global sales results, Adrian Hallmark, chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors, said: “The luxury market was not immune from the challenging market conditions seen around the world in the second half of 2023 and despite this we were able to deliver our third highest retail position in history and enter 2024 with a strong order bank. Building on this, our quality of sales was much greater, with significant increases in our higher value derivatives, and a significant growth in demand for bespoke personalisation.”
“We remain cautiously optimistic for the year ahead, with a continued robust global demand by market and model, high levels of interest in our hybrid models and with more to follow this year,” he added.
Bentley sells its cars in 63 countries around the world.