Bentley spreads its wings, hires jets to fly car bodies to Britain under Brexit
FRANKFURT – Bentley, the luxury carmaker owned by Volkswagen, has booked five Antonov cargo jets to assist overcome potential supply bottlenecks in case of a disorderly exit of Britain from the Eu, the carmaker said on Wednesday.
Car manufacturers are securing additional supply routes as policymakers in Brussels and Westminster seek to strike an offer to look for the future trading relationship with continental Europe after Britain exits europe.
Bentley, making top end sports cars, buys 90% of its components from continental Europe, and sells around 24% of its cars into Europe, Chief Executive Adrian Hallmark told the Financial Times’ Way forward for the Car summit.
“A year 2 yrs planning. We have five Antonovs that we have on reserve to fly bodies to Manchester,” Hallmark said, adding that in addition to shifting car bodies by air, Bentley has hiked the amount of spare parts stored for production.
“We accustomed to run just-in-time with two days stock. We now have 14 days stock. That’s 14 working days, so that’s three weeks of stock,” he said.
The company has booked additional warehouses and planned new logistics routes just in case traditional supply methods are hampered by bottlenecks.
If Britain does not secure a negotiated trade agreement with European policymakers, Bentley could absorb 10% import tariffs by raising prices and cutting costs. This is less damaging than supply disruptions.
“It is not existential so long as everything flows. Stopping flows is far more dangerous than Brexit tariffs,” Hallmark said, talking about supply bottlenecks.
This year Bentley expects to sell more than 10,000 luxury cars and also to reach breakeven, mainly thanks to a rebound in demand in China, Hallmark said.
China sales are up 35% when compared with before the COVID-19 crisis. Sales in Europe and also the Usa up 15% Hallmark said.
“Overall we're in a position where we'll prosper over 10,000 sales this season,” he explained via Webcast. “We are on the cusp of going beyond breakeven.”