Bentley Bentayga private preview event… invites 1 customer every hour
New Bentay exceeds 50 pre-contracts
Why is the Korean luxury car market soaring even in Corona?
[오토캐스트=이다정 기자] Andaz Seoul Gangnam 17th floor suite located in Sinsa-dong, Seoul. A covert event was held here on the 21st. This is a private preview event organized by Bentley for VIP customers in Korea. Earlier, Bentley held the same event in the same place in October last year to showcase the new 3rd generation Flying Spur. At the time, the response was good, so I continued this time.
When I opened the door with the Bentley emblem, I found Warren Clarke, general manager of Bentley Motors Korea, and an interpreter. Because of the corona, I sat face to face with a transparent screen in between. Warren Clark, looking at the monitor, explained the performance of Bentley prepared in advance and the brand strategy this year.
Last year, Bentley sold 296 units in the domestic market. This is a 129.5% increase from the previous year, and specifically 38 more units were sold. The growth rate was the highest among luxury imported car brands. This is an achievement achieved with only two models of the previous generation Bentay, the V8 and the third-generation Continental GT V8, a sports coupe model that started delivering customers in June.
In fact, Bentley wasn’t the only one that recorded growth. Last year, the domestic luxury car market continued to boom. While the global automobile market declined 16% last year due to the influence of Corona 19, the Korean automobile market rose 6%, the only growth. Among them, sales of imported cars, especially high-priced models, were remarkable. In the imported car market last year, the share of expensive models of over 100 million won was 15.7%, the largest ever.
What is the reason why the Korean luxury car market is doing well despite the global consumption shrinking due to Corona 19? To this question, General Warren Clark replied: First is the new car effect. With the introduction of new models, customers’ choices increased. “Bentley started to introduce new models such as the Continental GT and the Flying Spur in the middle of last year. This seems to have helped the growth.”
The demand for luxury in the Korean market was also cited as a major factor in the growth. According to statistics from the Korea Imported Automobile Association (KAIDA), not only Bentley, but Rolls-Royce and Lamborghini, which sell billions of vehicles, all showed growth last year. Rolls-Royce sold 171 units, an increase of 6.2% from the previous year, with sales increasing, centering on the SUV model Cullinan. Lamborghini sold 303 units, an increase of 75.1% thanks to the popularity of the Urus, an SUV model.
He added that Corona 19 rather changed the purchasing pattern of customers. He explained, “It’s not accurate, but it seems that the behavior of customers has changed because of the situation called Corona.” Also, “The number of advance reservations for the new domestic Bentayga is also the highest ever, with 53 units. Accordingly, it is expected that we will be able to achieve the highest sales target ever since 2015.”
Meanwhile, after the question and answer, the electric curtain next to the table opened and a new Bentayga appeared. The vehicle was moved to the hotel suite terrace by a crane for this event. General Warren Clark pointed out the cars and compared them with the old photos, explaining the changed parts of the new car.
According to him, the new Bentayga is a model that has undergone a mid-level change between face lift and full change. It has changed a little more than the face lift. The new Bentayga, which was produced by reflecting the voices of more than 20,000 customers around the world, changed the interior and exterior design and installed the latest infotainment system and safety and driving technology.