Pres­tige car sales set to take off as wealthy Asia spends freely

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - NEWS -

THE year looks like be­ing a pros­per­ous one for the car in­dus­try, par­tic­u­larly the likes of Jaguar, Land Rover, Bent­ley and Rolls-royce as the ul­tra-wealthy Asians flash their cash.

In Novem­ber, Jaguar Land Rover showed how busi­ness was boom­ing with its plans to build a new en­gine fac­tory in Wolver­hamp­ton and add 1,000 work­ers at its fac­tory in Soli­hull. This 25 per cent staff in­crease at the fac­tory is now fol­lowed by news that it is likely to ex­pand its fac­tory near Liver­pool to cope with de­mand for the Evoque, the baby Range Rover which is at full pro­duc­tion and sell­ing like the prover­bial hot cakes. JLR is the UK’S largest au­to­mo­tive de­sign, en­gi­neer­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing em­ployer. It is owned by In­dia’s Tata Group.

Volk­swa­gen Group owns Bent­ley, which in De­cem­ber had its sec­ond best global sales month and the best since the fi­nan­cial down­turn in 2007. It sold 1,059 cars – up 69 per cent on De­cem­ber 2010. Sales for the year also re­cov­ered by 37 per cent to reach 7,003. Amer­ica re­mains its best mar­ket (sales up by a third to 2,021) with China now sec­ond, with sales dou­bling to 1,839 and likely to be­come num­ber one this year. An 88 per cent boost in Ger­many saw main­land Euro­pean sales reach 1,187. How­ever, the United King­dom was “ex­tremely chal­leng­ing”, notes Bent­ley’s chair­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive, Wolf­gang Dürheimer, with a five per cent in­crease to 1,031 sales. Glob­ally, more than a third of cars were the Con­ti­nen­tal GT. Bent­ley em­ploys nearly 4,000 at Crewe and is the third largest R&D in­vestor in the UK au­to­mo­tive sec­tor.

The coun­try’s largest car pro­ducer is Nis­san Sun­der­land, which in its 25th year set a new record of 480,485 ve­hi­cles, well ahead of the 423,262 in 2010 – which was the first time any Bri­tish fac­tory had passed the 400,000 mark.

The best month was last Novem­ber, with 46,606 cars. It was the first full year of round-the-clock pro­duc­tion of the Qashqai mod­els, which reached 301,277. The other big seller is the new Juke, on 132,606 and the fac­tory also makes the Note.

HOT SPOTS: Bent­ley’s Con­ti­nen­tal and Nis­san’s Qashqai are big sell­ers.

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