This positioning would see Bentley mentioned in the same breath as names like Bottega Veneta and Hermes, where in the eyes of the buyer, the aspiration of ownership is second only to actual ownership.
Speaking to CarAdvice this month, Bentley Motors APAC Marketing and Communications Manager, Silvia Saliti stated that in terms of a purchase, “Bentley is not competing with other cars, we are competing with other luxury goods”.
Yachts, property, aircraft, jewellery – all premium, personal statements of luxury and success; and where Bentley is focusing its attention to attract buyers.
“Buying a car is not just about spending some money, it’s the ownership experience – a dream that you realise”, said Saliti.
Where other brands may have diluted their exclusivity by offering lower-cost entry points, Bentley is placing renewed focus on the personalisation of their vehicles through the premium Mulliner program — where bespoke cars are built to a customer's order.
The Mulliner options — offering over 1.2-million possibilities — help buyers achieve their personal vision, regardless of cost.
With a dedicated team of 40 people in their Crewe, UK factory, Bentley Mulliner offers everything from aftermarket trim and accessories, limited editions and personal commissions, all the way through to one-off custom creations.
Fancy a long-wheelbase Mulsanne with a laundalet roof – in red? It can be done, but don’t expect it to be cheap.
“Bentley does not play on price”, said Saliti, noting that the one-to-one focus supported by the Mulliner program was the level of luxury and engagement that Bentley wants to be recognised for.
The evolution of the Bentley name, from luxury cars to a luxury brand, is the first step in seeing more from the British marque. The Bentley Suite at the St Regis hotel in Istanbul provides an opulent experience away from the road, while alliances with super-premium fashion and lifestyle brands like Vertu and even a line of limited edition $7,000 handbags, allow the flying B's wings to spread (so to speak).
The forthcoming Bentayga SUV sees the brand aim at a ‘new luxury’ market as well as supporting the traditional coupe and saloon body styles and the ‘classic luxury’ ethos built over the last century.
The Bentley Bentayga SUV is due to be revealed later this year.