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Last year, demand for the British brand’s luxury cars fell for the first time in five years, with Bentley setting record after record since 2019. In addition to economic problems and high lending rates, “a certain level of emotional sensitivity” among wealthy customers has had a negative impact, said Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark.

Bentley reported record sales in 2019, the pandemic year of 2020, 2021 and 2022. The company ended last year with an 11 percent decline, having sold 13,560 cars worldwide.

According to Hallmark, Bentley customers can still afford the brand’s cars despite the unstable economy. The main reason for the drop in sales is “emotional sensitivity.” As Bentley clarified to The Drive, clients have become more cautious about displaying wealth in some countries that are experiencing economic and political difficulties. These are, for example, the UK and the largest car market in the world – China.

At the same time, Bentley noted an increase in interest in expensive versions of Azure, S and Speed. Their share soared to 70 percent from 30 percent in 2022. That is, “emotional sensitivity” rather prevented buyers of basic Bentayga crossovers, which are noticeably cheaper.

Hallmark expects the launch of high-performance hybrids to boost sales this year. And in 2026, Bentley will present its first electric car: however, due to technical problems, deliveries to customers were postponed until 2027. In addition, the company has pushed back the full transition to electric cars from 2030 to 2033.

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