Bentley Lyon Opens new showroom

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Bentley Motors Press release

Berlin / Lyon, 24th January 2012: Bentley today announced the opening of its 33rd showroom in Europe and the third dealership in France, reflecting the growing strength of the high luxury automotive marque. Partnering with the performance and prestige automotive experts of the SOGESA Group, Bentley’s new showroom will attract customers throughout France’s Rhône-Alpes Region.

With sales of Bentleys bouncing back to pre-recession levels, the British carmaker is looking to broaden its presence not just in new markets, but in established ones as well. Bentley’s new showroom in Lyon will be responsible for both sales and after-sales and will be operated by the successful Passion Automobiles Prestige dealership group owned by the SOGESA Group.

Whilst the current showroom remains temporary as the site is expanded to ensure the very highest levels of customer service, potential clients and customers can still expect signature Bentley hospitality. The full model range is on display and customers can specify the myriad features, colours and materials of their new Bentley. Extensive investments in 2012 will lead to an extension of the present building. The result will be an impressive Bentley showroom dedicated to new car sales and a second showroom for Bentley Pre-Owned.

The driving force behind the new venue in Lyon is Joël Schmidt, who created and developed the luxury automotive distributor SOGESA more than 35 years ago. Obsessed with quality and service in this challenging segment, the group has consistently received very high customer satisfaction scores.

Welcoming the partnership with SOGESA, Guillaume Chabin, Bentley’s Regional Director Europe commented:

“Undoubtedly the power, performance and luxury of our models are a key part of our success but so too is the authenticity of the Bentley name. With our flagship Bentley Mulsanne and the second generation Bentley Continental GT and GTC – which are now also available with a 4.0 Litre V8 engine as well as the unmatched 6.0 W12 – we have a strong position. We look forward to working with the team at Bentley Lyon, whose understanding of the prestige sports car market makes them ideal partners for us.”

Asked about the investment, Schmidt responded: “Certainly the times are challenging, but the investment is a long-term commitment to the Bentley brand. This is a luxury carmaker growing by over 37% and with significant further development potential. There will always be customers for this level of traditional craftsmanship and innovation.”

In 2011 SOGESA sold more than 1500 new and pre-owned cars. Managing the group and the launch of Bentley Lyon are Emmanuel Cuenot, General Director, and Bruno Winterstein, Administrative and Financial Director.


Notes to editors

  1. Bentley Motors is the third largest R&D investor in the UK’s automotive sector and the 18th largest nationally. The company employs almost 4,000 people in Crewe which is home to all its operations including design, R&D, engineering and production. The combination of fine craftsmanship, using skills that have been handed down through generations, alongside engineering expertise and cutting-edge technology is unique to UK luxury vehicle manufacturers such as Bentley. It is also an example of high-value British manufacturing at its best. Bentley exports over £500m worth of goods every year to established markets like the US, as well as emerging markets such as China and South America.
  2. Bentley’s global sales for 2011 increased by 37% with 7,003 cars delivered. This growth was led by the Chinese region (1876 cars sold) with mainland China (excl. Hong Kong and Taiwan) up 104.17% (1664 cars). However, the Americas remains the biggest market for Bentley with 2,021 cars delivered (up 32%) in 2011. All major markets were up with Europe up by over a half, due mainly to high demand in Germany (up by nearly 90%).  The UK market proved to be more challenging, but still saw an increase of over five per cent. The surge in sales was led by demand for the new Continental GT. Over one third of all Bentley sales in 2011 were GTs with 2404 delivered. December 2011 was Bentley’s best month since the recession and the second highest ever, boosted by the first deliveries of the new soft-top Continental GTC. We have ambitious but realistic plans to continue this growth in 2012.

For further information about this press release please contact: Annette Koch – Head of PR Europe,+49(0)302 092 1516

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James MacLean

About James MacLean

Inspirational, accomplished and passionate. Those are just a few words to describe luxury marketing guru James MacLean, who has transformed the celebrity product placement industry through events such as GRAMMY’S /Latin Grammy's, Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards, American Country Music Awards, Golden Globes, Spike TV Video Game Awards, BET Awards, NAACP Image Awards, Sundance Film Festival and Grand Prix Monaco. He continues to set the pace and raise the bar in only the most glamorous settings around the globe.