News: UK luxury carmaker Bentley believes its ultra-luxury SUV, which will be available in the market in 2016, will establish a new class of SUV, reports Auto News. The company's vehicle, reported to cost around US$240,374, is priced higher than the most expensive Range Rover. Global head of sales and marketing at Bentley, Kevin Rose, claims the model, which comes with a 12-cylinder engine producing 575hp to 650hp power, will be the world's most expensive and luxurious SUV. Rose added the company expects about 33% of the 3,000 to 4,000 annual sales of the SUV to be in the US.
BMI View: In 2012, passenger car sales increased 5.4% in 2012. Consumer confidence increased moderately over the year, although we believe it remained relatively subdued. This partly drove the rise in passenger car sales, but we believe that the main causes were large pent-up demand in the market and heavy discounting by auto companies. In 2013, we forecast passenger car sales to increase 7.0% on the back of modest improvements in private consumption, price cuts from car sellers, and pent-up demand.