Luxury British marque promises a complete bio-fuel capable lineup by 2012. Bentley says the company needs environment-friendly and more efficient cars to stay competitive in the marketplace as global luxury car sales fell 20 percent in 2008.

Bentley will be making luxury cars that run on bio-fuels.

At the Detroit auto show, Stuart McCollough, Bentley board member in charge of sales and marketing, announced the decision by the ultra-luxury brand to have its entire model range be bio-fuel capable by 2012.

No further details were made available but McCollough cited the severe downturn in global automobile sales as a reason the British luxury marque needs to stay competitive in the marketplace and offer new environment-friendly technologies. Worldwide, sales of luxury cars were down 20 percent for 2008. Bentley suffered a 24 percent fall in sales, down to 7,604 units, compared to a record year in 2007.

Bentley has reduced output at its UK plant as a result of the downturn and is focusing on increasing sales in China and the Middle East, two regions that still offer rapid growth for luxury car makers. Bentley increased its exports to China by 53 percent last year.

At the show, Bentley was debuting the facelifted Continental GTC and Continental GTC speed, two bulky but dapper cabriolets each with a W12 engine offering 552 and 600 hp respectively.


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