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Bentley Expects to Reverse China Slump on New Flying Spur

2014 Bentley Flying Spur
A 2014 Bentley Flying Spur is shown in this handout photo released to the media on Sept. 18, 2013. Bentleys are assembled in Crewe, U.K., and the company is owned by the Volkswagen Group. Source: Bentley via Bloomberg

Volkswagen AG’s Bentley Motors luxury unit expects to reverse last year’s decline in China deliveries after introducing a variation of its Flying Spur saloon next month.

“We’re sure that we’re able to, let’s say, make an improvement over last year,” Ricky Tay, Bentley China’s managing director, said in an interview in Beijing yesterday. The Flying Spur V8, with the lowest starting price among Bentley’s four-door sedans, “will open up a new avenue to the luxury brand,” he said.

Bentley will open three to four dealerships in China this year, adding to the 36 it currently has, as the company targets more entrepreneurs, Tay said. The carmaker, which will introduce the new Flying Spur at an auto show in Beijing next month, expects to maintain its share of more than 30 percent in China’s ultra-luxury market, he said.

The Flying Spur starts at 3.94 million yuan ($640,000) in China, according to prices compiled by Autohome Inc., an online provider of automobile information in the country.

China is Crewe, England-based Bentley’s second-largest market, trailing only the U.S. The carmaker sells more Flying Spurs and its flagship Mulsanne limousine in the Asian country than anywhere else in the world, according to the company.

Still, Bentley deliveries in China fell 2.8 percent last year, after rising 23 percent the previous 12 months and almost doubling in 2011, as the carmaker went through model changes, Tay said. Globally, deliveries climbed 19 percent in 2013.

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