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Jack Barclay Bentley to reduce sales after £2m refit

HR Owen has spent £2m returning Jack Barclay Bentley to Berkeley Square in London’s Mayfair, and now intends to reduce sales of new cars by 30 to 220 in 2006 compared with this year.

The group’s Rolls-Royce outlet is next door.

Nick Lancaster, chief executive, says: “Bentley believes you should have one car fewer than you could sell, and so do I. We are the world’s biggest Bentley dealer and intend to remain so.”

Bentley will sell around 4,700 cars this year. By the end of October, UK sales totalled 1,891, compared with 1,835 at the same point last year.

Lancaster’s Malaya Group acquired HR Owen from Heron in 1994 and, three years later, changed the name of the whole business to that of the Rolls-Royce/Bentley specialist.

In 2000, it bought the site of the new Jack Barclay Bentley dealership from Dutton Forshaw.

During an 11-month refit, sales were directed from the Jack Barclay aftersales centre at Nine Elms in south west London.

The refurbishment includes a room where customers can touch examples of seat upholstery and choose equipment: cars are normally delivered in four to six months.

Floors with a chequered-flag design, which Barclay commissioned after racing successes at Le Mans and Brooklands, are retained in the ground and lower display areas. They are not consistent with the manufacturer’s showroom design but Bentley agreed they were invaluable.

The original Jack Barclay Rolls-Royce/Bentley showroom opened in Knightsbridge in 1927. The name of Jack Barclay, a gentleman racer and one of the high-living Bentley Boys, has been strongly associated with the brand ever since.

Brent Smith, Jack Barclay’s dealer principal, says: “The new showroom is true to the founder’s passion for Bentley, and we are restoring photographs from his racing days.”

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