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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Jan 03 2012, 6:14 PM

The recession has not been kind to most luxury car manufacturer’s. After all, with the economy on a downturn, even those who can still afford luxuries shy away from frivolous spending.

While the recession was the final nail in Maybach‘s coffin, Bentley has soldiered on and managed to survive the tough economic climate. Not only did Bentley survive, they have bounced back strongly in 2011.

Global sales for Bentley rose by 37% in 2011, totaling 7003 deliveries to customers. In December, they moved 1059 cars, which is not only their best month since the recession, but also the second best month in the history of the company.

The two big reason’s the brand was so successful in 2011 are the U.S. and Chinese markets. The U.S. market retains the top spot, as the biggest market for this British brand. 2021 new Bentley’s were sold to American homes in 2011, while 1839 units were delivered in China.

In Germany, demand for Bentley’s increased by 88%, while the rest of Europe also saw an increase. On this occasion, Bentley’s Chairman Wolfgang Durheimer said: “It has been a tremendously good year for Bentley. The dramatic sales growth reflects a global strength to the Brand and a recognition of the quality, craftsmanship and engineering excellence of our cars. It is also testament to the work of the entire Bentley Team whose passion and daily commitment has delivered this outstanding result. It has been particularly pleasing to see renewed interest in Bentley in established as well as new and emerging markets, all of which is contributing to a positive financial result for 2011.”

The most popular model in 2011 was the Continental GT coupe, and with the launch of the V8 version of this model starting shortly, it will probably help propel Bentley’s sales to even greater heights.

 |  Jan 17 2011, 8:25 AM

In the world of hood ornaments, Rolls Royce has possibly the most ostentatious decoration of them all, and this year it’s turning 100-years old.

While Rolls Royce started doing business in 1904, the “Spirit of Ecstasy” (also referred to as the ‘Flying Lady’) didn’t make it’s first appearance atop a Rolls Royce’s radiator grille until 1911. Since then, it has been a fixture on every single model produced by the company.

For the model year 2011, each ornament will have the inscription of “Ecstasy Centenary” on the base of each statue.

To further mark this centenary, Rolls-Royce will be hosting plenty of events throughout the year, starting with a parade through London on February 6th, to honor Charles Sykes, who designed the Spirit of Ecstasy and registered it on this date.

The parade will feature 100 Rolls Royce’s of different ages and models, and on route they will pass by Conduit Street and Berkeley Square, the old and new homes of the brand.

Also expect celebrations at various auto shows and at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, after all Goodwood estates has been the new manufacturing home of Rolls Royce Motor Cars since 2003.

So congratulations Spirit of Ecstasy on this milestone, may you live to see a 100 more.

 |  Aug 17 2010, 4:36 PM

To coincide with the historic unveiling of the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport, a new timepiece has been unveiled to go along with it.  Swiss luxury watchmaker Parmigiani released its new Bugatti Super Sport timepiece created to complement the supercar.

Touted by Parmigiani as “The Fastest Watch in the World” (the 16.4 Super Sport is billed as the fastest car in the world), this watch embodies the luxury brand perfectly. The Bugatti Super Sport watch’s case mirrors the standard Parmigiani curved tear drop lug, and features a set of bending lugs in traditional form. You’ll also find a partially carbon fiber dial, which has been placed perpendicular to the axis. This was accomplished by integrating a system of double pinions with bevel gearing.

The manually wound Calibre Parmigiani 372 (complete with a power reserve of 10 days) was designed in two planes in order to match the contours of the new Bugatti watch. Six sapphire crystals reveal the fabulous movement made up of 372 parts. The bridges struts its stuff with gold black, côtes de Genève and satin finishes. Hermes Paris designed the strap and the Bugatti logo is showcased on the dial while the Parmigiani name is on the side.

There aren’t many of these gems available, with a limited run of 30 pieces. The Parmigiani Bugatti Super Sport watch is packaged in an 18k white gold case and is priced at $259,000.

[Source: Born Rich]