Bentley better come up with a solution before succumbing to pressure and even losing its current crop of customers

Losing customers to your segment rivals is one thing, but losing them to brands from a segment below kind of hurts. This is what Bentley is going through now. The automaker has admitted to losing customers to Porsche and Tesla. When people compare apples and oranges, you can’t really do anything about it, right?

How is Ultra-Luxurious Bentley Struggling With Competition From Brands Like Porsche and Tesla?

2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S High Resolution Exterior
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The highly competitive market has forced niche and uber-luxury automakers to cater to mass customers for survival. Bentley is in a fix because of this as it has to maintain sophistication for the traditional customer base without ignoring potential buyers.

Speaking with Automotive News Europe, Bentley’s CEO, Adrian Hallmark, said,

“[T]he two major demographic segments that we don’t currently sell to – the upper liberals and the post-moderns – account for 40 percent of high-net-worth individuals”. He added, “and an [electric vehicle] is even more appealing to them.”

Hallmark also said that potential Bentley buyers are opting for Porsches and Teslas instead. Bentley hopes that this will change once the automaker eventually comes out with its own electric-vehicle, which should allow it to win over the “upper liberal” and “post-modern” crowds that are currently interested in Porsche and Tesla. “We see full-electric cars as another growth opportunity in a five- to 10-year period,” Hallmark said.

That’s A Lousy Reason

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2017 Bentley Bentayga shown here.

Although EVs are the rage right now, Bentley claims that only 40-percent of its customers are interested in buying an EV. So, Bentley is not in a rush to manufacture an EV right away.

Another reason Hallmark cited was that he thinks the limited power-density of today’s battery packs means that any electric vehicle it creates will either lack a reasonable driving range or the physical size required of a Bentley product.

However, this seems more like an excuse than an actual reason. We have some electric beasts like the Tesla Model X and the upcoming Rivian R1T that are big and have an adequate driving range.

Perhaps, this is because Bentley is eying the 400-mile range mark for its upcoming electric vehicle, whereas the Model X runs for 295 miles on a full charge according to EPA.

Our Take

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We don’t see the Bentley EV coming anytime soon. At least not for the next 3 years, anyway. Until then we might hear more of these, “Tesla and Porsche stole our customers” statements from Bentley. In your opinion, how can Bentley revive its sales and give stiff competition to cars that are priced lower? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Further Reading

2018 Bentley Continental GT High Resolution Exterior
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Get your luxury fix with our full review of the 2018 Bentley Continental GT

2017 Bentley Bentayga High Resolution Exterior
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Learn all there is to know about the 2017 Bentley Bentayga

2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S High Resolution Exterior
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Don’t forget to check out our full review of the 2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S

2017 Tesla Model S Exterior
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Read up on Bentley’s surprising competition, the 2017 Tesla Model S

2020 Porsche 911
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Porsche is Hurting Bentley too, so check out our full review of the new, 2020 Porsche 911

Source: Automotive News

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