Bentley factory, via NewspressBentley factory, via Newspress


Bentley performs U-turn on pledge to stop ICE manufacturing by 2030

  • Luxury car maker rethinks deadline vow for transition to all-electric
  • Bentley says it’ll maybe make hybrids for ‘one or two years’ more than planned
  • It cites increased demand for hybrids after government postponed 2030 ban
  • Manufacturer also reveals decrease in operating profit for 2023

Time 10:00 am, March 20, 2024

Bentley has done a U-turn on its vow to halt the production of cars with internal combustion engines by 2030.

It said an increase in demand for hybrid models following the government’s push back of the 2030 ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars to 2035 had prompted the rethink over its all-out switch to electrification.

The Volkswagen-owned luxury car maker pledged in 2020 that it would be making just all-electric vehicles by 2030, but it’s now going to make hybrids for maybe a couple of years more, according to today’s Times, quoting the Financial Times.

With demand for 100% electric cars dropping off, it may also delay launching its first fully electric car by a year to 2026.

The company was quoted as saying it was thinking of extending the production of hybrid vehicles ‘by one or two years’ past the 2030 deadline previously given, and added: ‘It is due to general industry demand not being as high as expected and changing legislative conditions.’

CEO Adrian Hallmark was also quoted as saying the postponement of moving to all-electric vehicle production would see it carry on making hybrids to keep the revenue flowing.

‘We’re not talking about 2035 or 2040, just a few years around the 2030 period. We are not walking away from carbon neutrality or full electric vehicles but we are going to expand hybrids,’ he was quoted as telling the Financial Times.

‘This de-risks us against a slower rollout of battery electric vehicles.’

The news comes as Crewe-based Bentley revealed what it hailed as its second-best financial performance on record.

It made an operating profit of €589m (circa £503.4m) during 2023, which was 17% down on 2022’s figure of €708m (£605.1m), on €2.938bn (£2.513bn) of revenue, which was a 13% drop on the previous year’s €3.384bn (£2.889bn).

Bentley said the results for 2023 were heavily influenced by record levels of interest in luxury personalisation.

Return on sales reached 20.1% in 2023 – a drop of 0.8 percentage points from 20.9% the year before, which was attributed to upfront expenditures for future products, as well as planned reduced volumes because of life cycle effects.

Pictured at top is the Bentley Motors factory in Crewe

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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