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Bentley, Rolls-Royce Sales Fall Sharply

April 10, 1998| From Reuters

Britain's Vickers said Thursday that sales of its Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars fell in the first quarter, while the luxury car unit remains the focus of a takeover battle between two German automobile giants.

The company said sales declined to 251 from 446 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 1997, with declines in most regions.

German car rivals BMW and Volkswagen are battling to buy Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, with Vickers having chosen BMW as its preferred bidder following a $569-million offer.

Vickers said sales were down as expected because of the phaseout of previous four-door models at the end of 1997 and the ramp-up of production of replacement models. The company said it has been receiving orders for its new Silver Seraph, priced at about $259,600, ahead of its introduction in several areas throughout the world. Retail deliveries have just started.

The Rolls-Royce and Bentley group's average capacity has been less than 2,000 cars a year.

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