Volkswagen's Phaeton misadventures have been much maligned by pundits and consumers alike, der Übercruiser has afforded the company's Bentley subsidiary a nice, shiny partsbin with which to work. On the strength of these economies of scale (and use of free capacity in VW's Dresden 'glass' plant), Bentley has managed to increase sales 31% over 2004 to 8,627 units.
Much of that increase can be attributed to the new Flying Spur sedan, but demand for the Continental GT two-door has remained robust as well. And the Bentley Boys will likely have all the work they can handle this year: an Azure drophead is slated for release in the spring, and orders ahead of production have already claimed this year's entire allotment, and a Continental GT convertible, the GTC, will greet the autumn winds.
Bentley is not expected to require space in big brother VW's Dresden plant after next year, at which time it's own Crewe factory will be able to churn out 9,000 units per year. As such, it will be interesting to see how parent Volkswagen deals with the excess capacity at its much-ballyhooed boutique assembly plant.