The Artisanal Bentley
Gary S. Vasilash –
May 2, 2016
One of the characteristics of manufacturing in China is that the countryâs factories churn out literally billions of products per year. It takes mass production to levels that would make Adam Smithâs, Frederick Taylorâs and Henry Fordâs heads explode.
Be that as it may, it seems as though the Chineseâlike many people in other parts of the worldâare more interested in an artisanal approach to some of the products that they consume.
Case in point: Bentley launched the Mulsanne First Edition models exclusively in China. There are three models: the Mulsanne, the Mulsanne Speed and the Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase.
These vehiclesâwhich add luxury on top of luxuryâare not only first editions, but they are a limited edition, as well: there are going to be 50 produced. Period.
These cars are âhandcrafted in Crewe,â built by the technicians in the Bentley plant there.
Bentley, like all automobile manufacturers, likes to see increased sales. But what is an increase to that company is significantly different than what it is for your typical full-line manufacturer.
Last year the company delivered 10,100 vehiclesâglobally.
The biggest market was North America: 2,864.
Still, it is interesting that there is a recognition that uniqueness matters even in markets where products are made in relentless multitudes, and so even though by its very nature it is a limited-production purveyor of motor vehicles, there is even more exclusivity that can be achieved.