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Bentley to see China as biggest market: chairman


LONDON -- Bentley Motors Limited, a British luxury car brand owned by Germany's Volkswagen, Thursday announced that it delivered 1,318 cars in the Chinese market in the first half of 2014, up 61 percent from the same period of 2013.

Wolfgang Durheimer, Chairman and CEO of Bentley, believes that China will overtake United States as the largest market for the company within this year.

"China will most likely overtake the US, because its growth rate is so high," said Durheimer when answering Xinhua's question.

"I think driving exclusive cars and using prestigious brands are the consumption behavior of the Chinese customers ... and there are still lots of big cities with more than 1 million population in China, where you don't have outlets yet," Durheimer said.

With 12 car models, Bentley delivered 5,254 cars in the first half of 2014, a 23 percent growth over the same period of last year, with gains in every region.

The United States remains Bentley's number one market with 1,388 cars delivered to customers, an 8 percent growth over the same period of last year.

Durheimer also told Xinhua that Bentley plans to create eight flagship showrooms in major cities around the world, including two in China, and bring the world's first luxury SUV to the market in 2016, with first launch in Britain, then in the European continent, the United States and China consequently.

The Company has started the biggest R&D program in its history; it will invest more than 800 million pounds (or $1.37 billion) from this year until 2016 in its headquarters, which locates in Crewe, Cheshire, Northwest England, according to Durheimer.

Durheimer has been serving as Chairman and CEO of Bentley since June 2014. Prior to this, he was Member of Board for Technical Development at Audi AG and Head of Group Motorsport.



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