Bentley creates, fabricates and sells luxury cars and car components. The company is currently located in England and it is owned by the German Volkswagen group. The company was initially founded in 1919 close to London by W.O. Bentley. It enjoyed great popularity and it became famous for its achievements in the 24 Hours LeMans.
In 1922 Bentley made its debut in the racing world by entering the Indianapolis 500. It finished on the 13th position. However, the performance that remained in the history is the one of winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans for four times in a row in the late 20s. In 1931, the company faced financial troubles, like numerous other competitors. Because of this, it was bought by Rolls-Royce. The transaction occurred in great secrecy and the name of the buyer was only revealed to the public after all the paperwork was done. No more vehicles were produced in the next two years. When production started again, it was relocated to Derby. The founder of the company left four years after the merger with Rolls-Royce. While Bentley was under Rolls-Royce ownership it produced cars under the badge of this company.
After the Second World War, the production facilities were moved back to Crewe, where the company initial started manufacturing. The oil crises in the 70s trigger a new set of financial problems and the motorcar division of Rolls-Royce was turned into a separate company which ended up under the ownership of Vickers in the 80s. The Vickers management was beneficial for Bentley and the sales finally increased. In 1997, Bentley changed ownership again. It was bought by Volkswagen, even though rumors on the market said that BMW would be the buyer. Volkswagen bought everything besides the actual Rolls-Royce name and the logo of the company. Only these two elements were acquired by BMW. Starting with the year 2003 Volkswagen remained the only company in the car industry which was manufacturing vehicles branded as Bentleys.
Bentley sales are constantly increasing lately and the recent success is attributed to the Continental GT model.