Testing Delays “Close to Catastrophic” for Bentley, Says CEO

The transition to Europe’s new WLTP fuel economy standard almost leads to disaster at Bentley, according to a new report.

Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark spoke with Automotive News Europe about the process. “We were not quick enough, unfortunately, to book capacity or prioritize our derivatives within some of the group processes to get them certified on time,” he said.

What did that mean for the company? It was “close to catastrophic,” Hallmark said.

The delay pushed back the introduction of the plug-in Bentayga. That push-back was so the automaker could get some of its volume models tested. Hallmark said that the testing delays hurt sales of the luxury SUV by 300-400 vehicles.

With every automaker in Europe scrambling to re-test their vehicles to ensure they complied with the new and more stringent WLTP testing, the number of test cells and time to use them was quickly eclipsed by demand. That led to a delay and stop-sale for several manufacturers, including Bentley parent Volkswagen, who had to pause production of several of its most popular models.

That’s part of why Bentley lost 137 million euros in the first nine months of this year. Not a happy introduction for Hallmark, who took over as company CEO just six months ago.

[source: Automotive News Europe]