2020 ALL STAR | CEO, EXOTIC
CEO, Bentley Motors
After Bentley Motors posted a profitable 2019, all signs pointed to 2020 being much of the same, if not record-setting.
A two-month production shutdown in the spring to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will change that.
But despite the mountain of challenges the pandemic presents, the British ultraluxury brand’s future appears bright and focused because of the direction of CEO Adrian Hallmark.
Hallmark, who has been in the role since 2018, is overseeing Bentley at a critical time for its products. Its small lineup received a crucial addition this year with the freshened Bentayga SUV. Bentley was the first automaker from the exotic and ultraluxury brands to launch an SUV and is now the first with an updated one, which arrived as competitors were getting their initial SUVs off the ground — or before they even did.
But there’s more to the brand than SUVs, and that’s a credit to Hallmark’s vision.
In March, Bentley unveiled the Bacalar, a $1.9 million roadster, which signaled a new strategy for the automaker’s bespoke division, Mulliner. And it will now offer new, bespoke models under its Mulliner Coachbuilt portfolio.
A pivotal change was announced this month when Hallmark, 58, laid out Bentley’s future in a clear fashion: It will become a maker of full-electric vehicles as part of long-term plans to dramatically cut emissions.
It will add two plug-in hybrids in 2021, and its first EV will arrive in 2025.
By 2030, Bentley will exist as an EV-only brand, giving Hallmark the unique challenge of taking a storied automaker known for eight- and 12-cylinder engines into a new era built around electrification.