Riding out the global crisis…in a Bentley

October 10, 2008

If you want a break from a global financial meltdown, the launch of Bentley’s latest luxury car in India can be welcome relief – and show that the rich are still doing what they do best. Buying unnecessary things.

It means you can, in my case, leave behind an office full of tired journalists hunched over ever more depressing data, and ignore TV screens showing grimfaced politicians and weepy traders.

bentley.jpgOut there somewhere, someone has the cash to buy the ‘New Continental Flying Spur Speed’ Bentley – even if that somebody isn’t you.

The car – which costs a cool Rs2.5crore (over half a million USD) – was on display at one of the capital’s high-end hotels on Friday.

Boasting a stylish black finish and a retro-style front grille, the car’s specs are, in the current climate, almost satirical.

To get to 100kmh needs just 4.8 seconds of pedal pressing; while your top speed – if you were ever tempted to try it out – is 322kmh.

Every car is also custom-made to fit the whims of those who can still afford to be whimsical; and is built with a decadent slowness that means that the cover for the steering wheel, for example, takes 5 1/2 hours to stitch together.

It makes for entertaining reading on the same day that the carmaker’s country of origin, the UK, is revving up to sue Iceland over withheld bank deposits – not an event many of us saw coming.

And as Bentley’s MD for India says, ‘there is always somebody making money’. While things are starting to look really bad in India, Bentley and many companies like it still see the country as a ‘key market’, and aren’t going anywhere.


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Hi 2 Everyone,
As we all know what Bently stands for. It is sounding very good that Bently launches “New Continental Flying Spur Speed” in India. Whole market is below everyones expectation, but still in India you can aford to buy a BIG LUXURY CARS..

Posted by D. Kumar. | Report as abusive

a very essential tool for the snob

Posted by m v naidu | Report as abusive

Well said that someone is making money in this madness. But one Q that I always have is that a Bentley at best sells some 50-60 cars in a year in India. Is that enough to justify being here or being in Business?

Posted by anon | Report as abusive

An ideal vehicle for who can afford for speed and luxury.

Posted by P.Mohanraj | Report as abusive

“Is that enough to justify being here or being in Business?”

They aren’t exactly selling them for peanuts. 60 is more than enough to finance 100 more Bently’s.

Posted by Nikhil Sharma | Report as abusive