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Insight of the Day: Bentley hails record demand for bespoke cars

The article provided from the Financial Times discusses how Bentley is experiencing record demand for bespoke cars as customers are paying for personalized features worth over €40,000. This lavish spending on custom features, such as wood trim and bespoke paint jobs, has contributed to Bentley reporting the second-largest annual profit in its history. The company has seen high levels of custom spend, with some customers doubling the price of their cars with add-ons.

Despite a drop in demand from China, Bentley's operating profits for 2023 reached €589 million, down from €708 million the previous year but still a record due to a backlog of orders. The company has delayed its plans to release its first all-electric model and will continue to sell hybrid models into the next decade due to higher than expected demand for hybrids.

Bentley had originally planned to launch its first full EV in 2025 but has now pushed it back to the end of 2026, with a gradual replacement of engine-only and hybrid models over the next decade. The company aims to de-risk against a slower rollout of battery EVs by expanding hybrids in the interim.

Despite challenges in the EV market, Bentley sold 13,560 cars in the previous year, making it the third-highest sales year in its history. The company has improved its profitability through strategies such as raising prices, cutting costs, and meeting the rising demand for personalized features.

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