It has been four months since Bentley Motors was separated from its sibling, Rolls-Royce. Under terms of an earlier agreement between BMW AG and Volkswagen AG, Rolls-Royce went to BMW on Jan. 1 while Bentley remained with Volkswagen.
In that short time, says Alasdair Stewart, CEO of Bentley's U.S. arm, the luxury automaker has begun to emerge from the shadow of its better-known relative - aided, he admits, by media attention to the launch of the first BMW-built Roller.
Bentley will get a new car of its own next year, a smaller Continental GT aimed at relatively younger luxury buyers.
Stewart, who has been at the helm of the U.S. unit since December 1998, joined Rolls-Royce and Bentley in 1994 as marketing manager for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd. in the United Kingdom. He spoke with Staff Reporter Diana T. Kurylko at the New York auto show last month about the challenges of overseeing Bentley's biggest and most important market.