Bentley is one of the automotive global elite, with a history stretching back more than a century. But at H.R. Owen Bentley Hatfield, one of our team has been selling Bentleys for almost a third of that time – recently celebrating 30 years with the brand.
Simon Newell had been working in the car sales industry for a few years already before he signed a contract to begin working at Hadley Green Garage selling Rolls-Royce and Bentley. That day was 15 June, 1992, and Simon would go on to thrive through many different iterations of the business, including its acquisition by H.R. Owen eight years ago.
But despite decades of change, hundreds of sales and countless new model introductions, Simon still remembers his very first Bentley sale. “It was a pre-owned Mulsanne S, finished in Burgundy with a Magnolia main hide and Burgundy secondary hide interior. Just six months later, I recall selling the same chap a Brooklands R.”
It was a very different Bentley range when Simon started selling cars, and a very different sales process too. He lists, as if it were yesterday, Mulsanne S, Turbo R, Continental R and Bentley 8, as well as the sales tactics used to entice new buyers. “We used to have these big heavy briefcases made of wood and stocked full of leathers and paint colours. We would head to potential customers’ houses and quite literally build an idea of how their car would look. Now they can simply do it themselves online.”
Over 30 years of change, Simon has seen the typical Bentley customer profile shift, and also sees today a customer that’s even more informed about the product. Enthusiastic before they even enter the showroom about the intricacies of the Bentley Continental GT’s V8 and W12 engines, the Bentayga Plug-in Hybrid’s advanced battery or the Flying Spur’s world-first three-dimensional wood veneer. And faced with ever-more educated buyers, Simon relishes the challenge.
“I get a kick out of every sale, and I love the enthusiasm of our customers. If you were to ask me to pick out a memorable transaction, I couldn’t – I love every single one. Just seeing the customer’s face after a long journey of specifying their dream car, to seeing it in the flesh is such a special experience. Once you stop getting a kick out of that, it’s time to stop.” But, based on Simon’s passion for Bentley to this day, he won’t be walking away from the brand any time soon.
Interested in finding a career at H.R. Owen and want to join the team? Explore our career page for vacancies here.