Volkswagen AG's Bentley super-luxury brand sold 37 per cent more cars last year as demand for the UK unit's models "virtually doubled" in China, helping make the division profitable in 2011.
Deliveries increased to 7,003 vehicles, Crewe, England-based Bentley said yesterday in an emailed statement. Sales in China amounted to 1,839 cars, making the country Bentley's second-biggest market behind the US, it said.
The division has "ambitious but realistic plans which reflect global econ-omic conditions as much as our new product line up", Bentley Chairman Wolfgang Duerheimer said in the statement. The growth in established and emerging markets "is contributing to a positive result for 2011".
Bentley, which was founded in 1919, had its best sales year in 2007, when it delivered 10,014 cars. The brand's operating loss in the first nine months of 2011 narrowed to €6 million (Dh28.49 million) from €145 million a year earlier.
Sales growth is expected to continue in 2012, boosted by first deliveries of the new Continental GTC convertible. The model, which starts at $205,600 according to auto pricing site Edmunds.com, helped push December sales up 69 per cent to 1,059 cars, Bentley's second-highest monthly sales ever.