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Crewe / Bucharest … Bucharest, once known as ‘Little Paris’, now has its own symbol of luxury retailing. Bentley Motors, the British manufacturer of hand-built luxury sports cars and grand tourers, appointed its latest dealership in Romania’s capital city on September 1 2008.
The dealership is owned and run by Porsche Romania, the country’s largest importer, which was founded in November 1997 and today imports Audi, Porsche, SEAT, Skoda and Volkswagen vehicles. Porsche Romania has been an authorised Bentley repairer since September 2007: its appointment as a full dealership marks a logical progression in the relationship and is a tribute to the growing importance of Romania as a market for luxury brands.
The appointment marks the latest phase in the global expansion of Bentley as a high-luxury brand. Since becoming part of the Volkswagen Group in 1998, Bentley Motors’s output has grown from annual sales of around 1,000 to around 10,000 cars last year. The arrival of the Continental Series family in 2003 has been central to the company’s success. Today the company’s production can be divided into two ranges. The Arnage four-door, the Brooklands coupé and the Azure are built in limited quantities to bespoke order and are powered by Bentley’s iconic 6.75-litre V8 engine. The Continental family, which includes the Continental GT coupé, the four-door Continental Flying Spur and the Continental GTC open tourer, feature all-wheel drive and a 12-cylinder, 6-litre powerplant. Recent additions to the range include the Continental GT Speed and Continental Flying Spur Speed; each develops 610PS and can attain top speeds in excess of 322 km/h.
At present the new dealership, Bentley Bucuresti, operates from the importer’s Porsche Bucuresti Nord facility whilst construction work continues on a stand-alone Bentley showroom and workshop. It is anticipated that the facility will open for business in the second quarter of 2009. Bucharest is currently enjoying an economic resurgence: the city’s strong economic growth has revitalised infrastructure and led to the development of many shopping malls, modern residential towers and high-rise office buildings. In the luxurious showrooms of Bentley Bucuresti, Romania’s high achievers will find further confirmation of their country’s growing prosperity.