Bentley Motors Ltd. maintains a relatively small dealership network, but it is growing.
Bentley dealerships in the U.S. now stand at 46, with the addition of two new outlets: Bentley Minneapolis and Bentley Honolulu.
The U.K. maker of ultra-luxury vehicles has seen its global sales increase from 1,000 cars five years ago to more than 10,000 last year.
Annual sales won't go much higher than that, because of capacity constraints and the desire to remain exclusive, says Stuart McCullough, Bentley board member-sales and marketing.
Spurring U.S. sales is continuing demand for the Arnage and Continental models.
Meanwhile, McCullough says Bentley's impending green movement won't compromise performance of the venerable British brand's cars.
Plans are for Bentley engines to be able to run on renewable fuels in addition to gasoline by 2012. Bentley particularly is interested in biofuels, such as ethanol derived from corn and sugar cane.
“We want to take a leadership role to show what's possible” from a maker of hand-crafted, low-volume vehicles, McCullough tells Ward's.
He declines to say how Bentley plans to reach that commitment. He acknowledges the impending advancement in technology will lead to a “marginal increase” in the price of Bentleys, which currently cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.