Luxurious automaker Bentley had a document 12 months in 2020 as different automakers grappled with a pandemic

The 2020 Bentley Continental GT first edition

Mack Hogan | CNBC

Bentley Motors sold a record number of its luxury sedans and SUVs last year as the rest of the auto industry struggled to contain losses from the coronavirus pandemic, the 101-year-old automaker said Tuesday.

The Volkswagen-owned company sold 11,206 vehicles in 2020 – despite a seven-week closure of its plant in England during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic last spring. The company sold 11,006 cars in 2019.

Bentley sells some of the most expensive and rarest cars in the world. Its entry-level SUV, the Bentayga, starts at around $ 180,000 while its most exclusive model, the Mulliner Bacalar, sells for around $ 2 million.

Adrian Hallmark, Bentley CEO, said he was “cautiously optimistic” about business in 2021, “so much remains uncertain,” a press release said. He said last year’s sales record was a “strong gauge” of the company’s potential as it will evolve into an all-electric automaker by 2030.

Sales in America rose 4.2% and remained Bentley’s primary market in 2020. However, the growth resulted from a jump in sales of a whopping 48.5% in China. The two markets accounted for 53% of Bentley’s sales in 2020, according to the company. This offset the sales declines in the UK, Europe and the Middle East in 2020.

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