Bentley Motors, producers of luxury British automobiles, has been in dire straits for the last two years. Between 2016 and 2017, Bentley’s revenue was down by 9.2 percent despite selling over 10,000 vehicles globally. In the first nine months of 2018, Bentley lost another $157 million in sales. Statistical data shows that, last summer, Bentley lost over $19,000 on each vehicle. The major cited reason for these slides is the ongoing Brexit talks, as well as deprecation of the British pound. Whatever the reason, Bentley’s major stockholder, the Volkswagen Group, has decided they’ve had enough, and have issued a vague ultimatum.
Volkswagen informed Bentley that they have approximately two years to turn around its finances and start turning a steady profit. They did not specify what would happen if this deadline was passed unfulfilled, but it’s not hard to guess. Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark is trying to put his best foot forward, stating that 2019 “is a conversion year to a better business model.”
In the last year, Bentley announced that it would no longer be producing high-spec sports cars, and would instead be focusing on producing all-electric versions of its GT models by 2025. Bentley is going to need a breakthrough fast, or they might not have a 2025 to work toward.