Wednesday 19 March 2014 9:43 pm

Bentley brings engines home as profits soar

BENTLEY will bring more engine manufacturing to Britain this year, following record-breaking sales and profits in 2013. The luxury car firm, based in Crewe and owned by Volkswagen, said it planned to move production of all W12 cylinder engines from Germany to Britain by the end of the year. Bentley already makes around 5,000 engines a year at Crewe, but the increase to 9,000 will create 100 new jobs. The W12s are used in Audi, Volkswagen and Bentley vehicles, and the move will see the firm’s British factory making engines for use in foreign-made cars for the first time. Meanwhile, the company posted a 66.9 per cent rise in operating profits to £139.7m for 2013, as turnover rose 15.5 per cent to £1.4bn. Bentley sold 10,120 cars last year, another record for the company and an increase of 19 per cent on the previous year. Exports made up 88 per cent of Bentley’s revenues. The US is the firm’s biggest market, making up 31 per cent of all sales, followed by China on 22 per cent. British motorists took 14 per cent of all Bentleys sold last year, while the vehicles proved increasingly popular in the Middle East, where 12 per cent of the new cars were delivered. “Customers all over the world continue to be very enthusiastic about Bentley. The luxury car market is not static. We will continue to make sure that Bentley will meet the changing needs of our discerning customers,” said boss Wolfgang Schreiber. Bentley expects another strong year, following a 13 per cent rise in deliveries in the first two months of 2014. The company hopes to open almost 30 new dealerships this year to take its global total to 220. The company also trailed its first SUV model, which is due to reach the roads in 2016. Bentley expects to sell at least 3,000 of the upmarket vehicles a year. The firm’s take on the high-end hybrid market is expected to follow in 2017. Volkswagen shares closed up 1.02 per cent yesterday.