BENTLEY SPOTTING

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Bentley Sales in Australia



The Australian Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries collect data on all automotives sold in Australia. Tabulated below is the Bentley, Rolls Royce and Maybach sales in Australia this century.



sales figures

An article in The Age, Melbourne's broadsheet speculated on the sale of Aston Martin to James Packer, but also interestingly quoted the Bentley and Rolls Royce sales of the late 90's.


In 1997 Lindsey Fox, who owns a massive car collection, housed at the FoxCollection and also has a wing dedicated to the Sir Henry Royce Foundation became the Rolls Royce and Bentley dealer for Australia. It did not go to plan and lost millions, due to extremely low sales.


The sales were as follows, 25 units of both marques in 1996, 11 cars in 1997, 15 units in 1998 and then only nine in 1999, five Rolls Royces and four Bentleys.


Therefore from the years 1996 - 2003 only 149 Rolls Royce and Bentley cars were sold, an average 16.5 per year. From the population of Australia, this equates to only one person in a million to purchase a Rolls Royce or Bentley during this time. Interesting.


The conflict of ownership of Crewe and the Rolls Royce brand by VW and BMW obviously affected the market, as did no real new models from 1981 till 1997, besides the bodies of the Continental.


The boost in sales in 2003 came from the introduction of the Continental GT and the new Phantom. Maybach on the other hand has not been a hit in Australia due to the price justification compared to the S class, and well the concierge service, come on. Which self respecting Aussie would call a European call centre to ask for directions on where to get a meat pie and a cherry ripe on the way home from the pub? This is Australia by the way. Rolls Royces became popular in Australia because they were tough and could survive in the bush - and you could still make them into utes.


So in summary, simply on sales figures it makes this 2000 Rolls Royce Silver Seraph current for sale rare. There was only one other Rolls Royce sold that year.



Seraph

It has travelled 30,000km and is labelled as Emerald Green, but you could not tell from the, well really bad, and even unworthy photography.




After one minutes of photoshop it looks a little better, but the colour is very overexposed.





The asking price is $295,000 and according the Red Book the price when new was $541,030. They quote a trade in, and national average price guide but really where is their source of data?


The same dealer is selling this 1998 Bentley Arnage with 40,000km for $199,500. Even with the 4.4lt BMW V8 engine it represents better value.





I plan to analyse the Bentley market in Australia armed with these sales figures in the future.

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