Bentley Motors Limited is a British luxury vehicle and SUV manufacturer and marketer that has been part of the Volkswagen Group since 1998.
Based in Crewe, England, Bentley Motors Limited was founded by W. O. Bentley in 1919 in Cricklewood, North London. Their claim to fame in the early years was their wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929, and 1930.
Memorable models produced by Bentley include the historic sports-racing Bentley 412 Litre and Bentley Speed Six. Recent models include the Bentley R Type Continental, Bentley Turbo R, and Bentley Arnage. Its current lineup consists of the Flying Spur, Continental GT, Bentayga, and Mulsanne.
Bentley sells its vehicles around the World, with the majority of cars built at the company’s Crewe facility. However, a limited number are built at Volkswagen’s Dresden factory in Germany.
The Americas is Bentley’s largest market. However, their fastest-growing market is China posting an impressive growth rate of 48 percent in 2020.
Bentley shares a 40-year history with Rolls Royce, a history that goes back to 1931. The partnership lasted through 1971 when the UK Government nationalized it—separated into two divisions: aerospace (Rolls-Royce Plc) and automotive (Rolls-Royce Motors Limited). Rolls Royce Plc kept the Bentley division. Rolls-Royce Motors was sold to Vickers, an engineering corporation, which they later sold to Volkswagen AG in 1998.
Rolls-Royce Motors had retained intellectual property rights to the name Rolls-Royce and the business’s emblem. Still, the aerospace company, Rolls-Royce Plc, had continued to license both to the automotive division. The Bentley name and logos, vehicle designs, model nameplates, production, and administrative facilities, the Spirit of Ecstasy and Rolls-Royce grille shape trademarks (subsequently sold to BMW by VW) were all included in the sale of “Rolls-Royce” to VW, but not the rights to the Rolls-Royce name or logo. Rolls-Royce Plc, the aerospace corporation, eventually sold both to BMW AG.