Editor’s letter: Personalisation pushes up profits at Bentley

Last year was Bentley’s second most profitable year yet. Speak to boss Adrian Hallmark, though, and you get the sense that the pride comes not from what the final profit figure was, but from knowing how bad it could have been.

The previous six years on Hallmark’s watch have been fruitful in setting the company up for success even in challenging market conditions. Last year was indeed challenging for Bentley and all other luxury car makers. Hallmark said global demand for luxury cars was flat, and the only growth came from premium cars with luxury pricing – the likes of Range Rover and high-end Mercedes models.

Yet Bentley was able to prosper, for three key reasons: a restructure in 2020, increased pricing structures on its cars, and an increase in the amount of bespoke content fitted to them.

Hallmark took over Bentley when it was loss-making and in his first full year in charge in 2019 (he joined the company in February 2018) made a €300 million swing in profitability to take Bentley back into the black.

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