Bentley Motors in Beijing celebrated the Queen’s birthday and her Diamond Jubilee year at the opening of one of the world’s largest Bentley dealerships today. Bentley unveiled the first example of its new Mulsanne Diamond Jubilee Edition, which will be limited to 60 cars – one per year of the Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. The car for one-per centers – or even 0.01-percenters – is expected to sell for more than $960,000.
China is the now the largest market for Bentley Motors, having surpassed the U.S. during the first quarter of this year. In 2011, the British luxury carmaker delivered 1,664 cars to Chinese customers, and during the first quarter of 2012 sales in the region grew by 85% compared with the same period in 2011.
Bentley sales are now at pre-Great Recession levels and showing signs of strong growth in all major markets. Globally, sales were up 37% to 7003 for the 2011 calendar year with sales accelerating as the year progressed, a trend that continues.
The Mulsanne Jubilee car comes from Bentley’s Mulliner division, the creators of the State Limousine given to Queen Elizabeth II in 2002.
These very expensive Bentleys come with many handcrafted features, including custom embroidery to all four headrests using gold stitching, veneered picnic tables in the rear cabin decorated with a gold overlay depicting a royal carriage used for great occasions of state, as well as luxurious, hide cushions featuring the same motif.
Two beautiful, highly polished stainless steel treadplate plaques featuring the ‘Bentley Mulliner, England’ script and ‘Diamond Jubilee Edition’ have also been commissioned for these Mulsanne models. The Mulliner family was commissioned to build carriages for the Royal Mail in 1760. By the late 19th century, Mulliner was handcrafting the coachwork for the new “horseless carriage.”
W.O. Bentley hired Mulliner to build the bodywork for the famous EXP1. This partnership continued to flourish, producing the streamlined contours of the revolutionary 1952 R-Type Continental, among many other Bentley designs. Now known as Bentley Mulliner, a wholly owned division of Bentley Motors, Mulliner offers a specialist personal customizing and limited editions.
The Diamond Jubilee Edition cars have paint and hide colors that use shades of red, white and blue, the colors of the Union Flag.
“The respect and genuine interest shown towards so many aspects of British life, and most especially The Royal Family, has made China a unique experience for our marque as well as many other UK businesses,” said Richard Charlesworth, Director of Royal and VIP Relations, Bentley Motors.
Bentley will also introduce its latest high-performance coupe and convertible Continental models to Chinese customers in 2012.