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Bentley Muscles in on Festival of Speed

Luxury maker using UK event to reveal Continental GT Speed.

by on Jun.13, 2012

Bentley is expected to debut the ultimate version of its GT, the Continental GT Speed, at the upcoming Goodwood Festival of Speed.

It’s become as much a rite of the summer season as the upcoming solstice, tens, if not hundreds of thousands turning out for the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed.  And among those in attendance will be some very senior executives from Bentley Motors.

For good reason, it seems.  The British marque will be one of the key sponsors of the event – which is marked by its iconic supercar climb up Goodwood Hill – and will have its largest-ever presence at the show.

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The Festival focuses on classic supercars, some dating back to the dawn of the automotive era. But occasionally, something new squeezes in a run up the hill.  A Bentley news release is promising “the international debut of a new model (that combines) stunning performance with exquisite luxury in the Bentley tradition” though it says details only “will be released before the start of the Festival.”  No matter.  Barring an unexpected surprise, it appears the model the German-owned maker has in mind is the next-generation Continental GT Speed, according to word that inadvertently was leaked out by Festival of Speed organizers.


No Plan to Restore Ford Dividend

Recovery still too early, says Mulally.

by on May.13, 2010

Still "too early" to declare victory, says Bill Ford, right, who also hopes to see CEO Alan Mulally, left, stay on past 65.

Warning that it is still “too early” to declare a turnaround, Ford Chairman Bill Ford told shareholders the automaker is not yet ready to restore its dividend.

Nonetheless, Ford CEO Alan Mulally declared that the automaker will be “solidly profitable” this year, and that its recovery is occurring faster than anticipated, during the company’s annual shareholders meeting, in Wilmington, Delaware, today.

“It is very early days in our recovery,” declared William Clay Ford, Jr., explaining why the maker is not ready to restore its once-hefty payout to shareholders.  But he added that a dividend “will be a topic for discussion…if we continue our progress.”

During their presentation to investors, the two executives painted a picture that could best be described as cautious optimism.  While Ford is “clearly on a path now of profitably growing the business,” according to CEO Mulally, Chairman Ford stressed that, “We still have a lot of debt.”

Ford has been struggling to find ways to pay down that debt, including recent moves to convert some of it to equity.

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But the maker has made strong progress on the balance sheet, reporting unexpectedly strong $2.1 billion first-quarter earnings, on top of the $2.7 billion profit from 2009.

On the sales side, the maker has gained 2.2 points of market share in 2010, with U.S. sales rising 32.3%, or nearly double the pace of the overall market.