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Bentley to sell fewer cars this year as China cools

[FRANKFURT] Luxury carmaker Bentley's global sales in 2015 will fall by "a few hundred cars" compared with last year's record level due to a drop in demand in China, its sales chief told Reuters on Tuesday.

First-half sales for Bentley fell 11.7 per cent to 4,639 vehicles, the biggest fall of any of Volkswagen's brands, which also include Lamborghini, Porsche and Bugatti.

Bentley's sales hit an all-time high last year, helped by a record 22 per cent jump in China - the world's biggest auto market - with overall global volumes rising 9 per cent to 11,020 saloons, coupes and convertibles.

But Kevin Rose, Bentley Motors board member for sales, said the brand would not hit the same level in 2015. "Globally we will be significantly above 10,000 cars but we will lose a few hundred cars, there's no question," he told Reuters in an interview at the Frankfurt auto show.

Bentley - which launched its first sporty utility vehicle at the show, the Bentayga - is one of several carmakers to be hit by a sharp slowdown in China, where the effects of a cooling economy has been compounded by a stock market slump.