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Personnel change! CEO change of an ultra-luxury brand

2024-06-25 Update From: AutoBeta NAV: AutoBeta > News >

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AutoBeta(AutoBeta.net)05/30 Report--

On May 28, Bentley, the ultra-luxury brand of Volkswagen Group, announced major personnel changes. Bentley said on its website that Frank-Steffen Walliser, a Porsche engineer, will succeed Edwin Homemark as chairman and chief executive of Bentley, which will leave Porsche from July 1 this year.

According to official sources, Aiden Homack held the position of CEO at Bentley for six years before stepping down as CEO in March to become CEO of Aston Martin. The new successor, Frank-Steffen Walliser, joined Porsche in 1995 and has dominated a number of iconic Porsche brands, including the Porsche 918 Spyder. He was the general manager of Porsche's classic 918 Spyder supercar development project in 2010, the head of motor sports since 2014, took over the management of 911 and 718 product lines in 2019, and was responsible for the overall vehicle development of Porsche since 2022.

Frank-Steffen Walliser

In an official statement of personnel changes, Gernot D ö llner, chairman of Audi's management board and head of the enterprising brand group, said: "Frank-Steffen Walliser's extensive experience and insights in the ultra-luxury field will bring great value to Bentley and help the company go a step further in its continued role as a leading ultra-luxury carmaker."

Bentley is an ultra-luxury brand of Volkswagen Group, founded in 1919, first acquired by Rolls-Royce, and finally acquired by Volkswagen Group because of Rolls-Royce mismanagement. But in recent years, due to the increasingly fierce competition in the car market, even with Volkswagen, Bentley is hardly immune.

Bentley's global delivery volume of 13560 vehicles in 2023 is the third highest in history, but down 11% from a year earlier, according to data. Among them, Tim Yue is still the best-selling car line of the Bentley brand, accounting for 44% of Bentley's total sales. As for the reasons for the decline in sales, Adrian Hallmark, chief executive of Bentley, said: "the challenging global market environment in the second half of 2023 also had a negative impact on the luxury market. However, we remain cautiously optimistic about the year ahead, as global market and car demand will continue to be strong."

In terms of market segments, the Americas and China accounted for 50% of the total global market sales in 2023. Among them, the Americas market is still the largest Bentley market in the world, with sales of 3848 vehicles, down 9% from the same period last year, compared with the same period last year. Chinese market sales declined particularly significantly, falling 18% to 3006 vehicles in 2023. It is important to note that this is not the first year that Bentley's sales in China have suffered a Waterloo. Its sales in China also fell 9% in 2022. In 2024, Bentley's sales in China are still in decline. The latest figures show that Bentley's cumulative sales in China in the first quarter of this year were 698 vehicles, down 27% from a year earlier.

In terms of operating profit, Bentley turned a profit in 2019, with an operating profit of 65 million euros, rising to 389 million euros by 2021. By 2023, Bentley's operating profit rose further to 589 million euros, down 17% from a year earlier. In the first quarter of this year, Bentley's operating profit was 120 million euros, down 45% from a year earlier, and its profit margin fell from 24% to 17%.

As for the development of Bentley in electrification transformation, at present, the pace of electrification of its transformation is not fast. After the new CEO takes office, he will lead Bentley to realize the electric transformation. According to previous reports, Bentley plans to launch its first all-electric car in 2026 and one electric car a year by 2030, when it has an all-electric model range. But Bentley has delayed the launch of its first all-electric car until 2027 because of a slowdown in electric car sales.

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