A fifth Bentley dealership has opened in France, and it’s right here in Mougins. You’ll find all the Bentley models there, from the Continental GT to the Flying Spur and the Bentayga SUV, as well as a wide selection of pre-owned cars. The showroom’s director, Jérémie Deroode, also manages the Paris and Bordeaux showrooms. We met up with him to discuss this exciting new venture …
Finally, the showroom is open after some delays …
We suffered from the Covid pandemic which didn’t help us at all, and specifications had to be upgraded, but the large new building has now been completed and we are open. We officially opened in May and tonight we hold our inauguration evening with all our clients and friends.
You have already worked in this area, haven’t you?
I worked in this region from 2004 to 2016 for various brands, but always brands from the Volkswagen-Audi family. I’ve been working with Volkswagen-Audi for twenty years now, with brands such as Porsche or Lamborghini, and I really enjoy it.
Is there a difference between the Paris and Bordeaux clientele and the local customers?
There are always different customers with different lifestyles. Then again, Paris and the Riviera are very much alike because there are very wealthy people, both in terms of money and experience as they travel a lot, and you would tend to meet them more in Paris or on the Riviera than in Bordeaux. In Bordeaux the customers are more local, less international, but that also is changing with the Asians buying up castles and vineyards. Often, it’s actually the same customers in Paris and on the Côte d’Azur.
Bentley is over one hundred years old, but their recent models have changed quite a lot, they appear younger. Has that had an impact on your clientele?
Yes. The third generation GT outside, which came out in 2018, is the car that lowered the age level of our clientele. I believe the average age of the customers is 45 years old for this model, whereas the average age for other models is a lot higher. When we held the launch parties in Paris, the people from Bentley Europe were very surprised by the average age of our Parisian customers, compared to the Germans, the Italians, the Dutch … Our clientele, and I’m talking about clients not prospects, were a lot younger.
Bentley said that by 2025 they will have plug-in hybrids or fully electric vehicles. Will that change things for your clientele?
It will change things but in the cities. I think things will change more in Paris, Berlin or other big cities like London, but a lot less on the Riviera where people are more passionate about cars. The customers here often have Latin origins, if only in spirit, they love cars that make noise, so I think there will be differences between regions. In Paris, I think it’s by 2024, diesel cars will be banned in the heart of the city and by 2030 only electric or hybrid vehicles will be allowed.
There’s a mix of pre-owned and new cars in your showroom. Do you think there will also be demand for specific models such as Mulliners?
More so in Paris and Mougins than Bordeaux, as there are more customers who like rare cars and there are more collectors, even more here than in Paris. People tend to show their cars off here more than in Paris. On the Côte d’Azur you can have a bright yellow or blue car. We have seen clients and friends we have known for years who came in an electric blue Porsche. All these are colours you see more on the Riviera than in Paris. For me, there’ll always be more people who are passionate about cars on the Côte d’Azur, and there’ll always be extremely rare cars.