Bentley’s new strategy shows its willingness to be transformed in CASE era

In November 2020, the English luxury automobile maker, Bentley, announced its new strategy called “Beyond100 strategy and we can see some important points as follows.

  • Bentley’s aim to become an end-to-end carbon neutral luxury car brand by 2030 will be underpinned by a structured, business-wide sustainability programme. This includes the development of electrified models throughout the range, and further improvements on its operational environmental impact, that of its tier one supply chain and collaborating with its retailer network.
  • Following the introduction of the first Bentley fully electric model in 2025 – Bentley’s first cradle to grave fully carbon neutral car – Bentley will exclusively offer plug-in hybrid and electric models only within its range in 2026. By 2030, this will change to battery electric vehicles only.
  • The Crewe facility will continue to improve its environmental operations. By the end of this year, all suppliers will have passed a sustainability audit, verifying their sustainability credentials. In the future, by the end of 2025, the company intends to reduce its factory environmental impact by focusing on energy consumption, CO2 emissions, waste water, use of solvents in the paint process and becoming plastic neutral. This will result in a climate positive factory by 2030, actively reducing levels of carbon in the atmosphere, while in parallel the business invests in renewable energy and forestation projects.
  • Bentley will continue to work with local schools and colleges to develop local talent in South Cheshire, building even closer links with the Crewe Engineering & Design UTC, which Bentley is a founding partner of. This includes becoming the employer of choice in the automotive sector with a clear brand, vision, mission, values and purpose. Bentley is focused on attracting diverse candidates and is targeting a management population of 30 per cent by 2025 that is truly diverse, increasing today’s figure of less than 20 per cent.

First: Carbon Neutrality

To tackle Climate Change, countries face more pressure to realize carbon neutrality. For example, European Union announced that the organization aims to be the first climate neutral continent by 2050. In 2020, the trend is more intensified and the two biggest Asian economy giants, China and Japan, declared that each tried to realize the climate neutrality by 2060 and 2050, respectively. In the same year, the US presidential election was held and the result is not fully announced and accepted when we write this article. If Mr. Biden will be in charge of its duty, it is likely that the US, the second largest greenhouse gas emission country, reaffirms commitment to rejoining Paris Agreement. It seems inevitable that many countries have to achieve sustainability not only economically but also socially.

Second: Electrification

In automobile sector, how will automobile companies and suppliers take climate actions?

One of possible actions is to increase the production of electric vehicles and Bentley’s Beyond100 strategy is without exception. Electrification is unavoidable and it is an element of the concept “CASE”, which represents the acronym of four words Connected Cars, Autonomous Driving, Sharing/ Services/ Subscription and Electrification. Therefore, the direction of Bentley’s Beyond100 strategy is not special, but stakeholders in automobile industry should be determined to follow this trend at the same time.

Third: Supply Chain

In this sense, suppliers face both opportunities and threats. Opportunities are that new players can enter the market and existing players will be able to take advantage of their competitive advantage and assets to manufacture new products in electric vehicles. One of threats is that electric vehicles are different from combustion engine cars, so some parts are not needed for them such as gasoline engines and transmissions. Another threat is that suppliers also will have to accomplish carbon neutrality as we can see this in Bentley’s Beyond100 Strategy.

Fourth: Diversity

Finally, many companies in automobile sector should be transform to survive in CASE era. However, it is sometimes too difficult for them to be changed even small things because they need different organizational as well as personal capabilities. As a result, it is necessary that the companies educate their employees more and attract more diverse people all over the world. Important approaches are to make corporate culture and brand more clear, to communicate corporate mission and vision more often and better, and to rethink or to redefine corporate purpose. This is because more employees from Generation Z will be in work places and they are more likely to empathize our sustainability, and because it is better for companies to link their corporate purpose with our sustainability.

We can see those key takeaways from Bentley’s Beyond100 strategy.