Bentley on Demand offers a luxury mobility solution for customers. The Bentley of their choice is delivered to their door – thanks to concierges such as Kristina Martin.
A sunny Monday morning in Long Beach. In a large hall about 30 kilometers from downtown Los Angeles, a Bentayga1, a Mulsanne2 and a Continental GT3 are lined up next to each other. So much Bentley luxury in one place. Mechanics and valeting staff are bustling about. The air smells of cleaning products. Every now and then one of the mighty engines gives a roar. In the thick of it all is Kristina Martin, one of the few not wearing overalls, but instead dressed in blazer, jeans and high heels. She walks past the highly polished luxury cars and heads straight for the office.
The 25-year-old is a concierge with the new Bentley on Demand service. Her working day already started two hours ago with an email from the Bentley office: a customer has reserved a vehicle for that morning at short notice.
All the information about the reservation is waiting for Kristina in the office. Apart from the customer’s name, the delivery time, and the location, this also includes special requests. Just about every customer has some special wishes. “It could be a lactose-free coffee. Or we could be asked not to ring the bell when we deliver the Bentley,” Kristina says. For her, each reservation is different. She prepares carefully for each individual customer, from the beverage of choice, ready and waiting when the car is handed over, to the optimal seat position or the pre-programmed radio stations. Because customers make their reservations via the Bentley Network app, all the preferences are saved. “One of my regular customers appreciates a bottle of mineral water in the car. But she doesn’t need to request that every time she uses the service. The information is automatically included in the reservation and we take care of it,” Kristina explains. It is this bespoke service, combined with digital comfort, that makes Bentley on Demand so exceptional.
At 10 a.m., the final preparations are underway. Kristina’s customer this morning has chosen a silver Bentayga. Two of the valeting staff clean and polish the car before Kristina inspects the Bentley together with a mechanic. Tank: full. Paintwork: glossy. Tire pressure, windshield washer fluid, oil level: all perfect. “Cars have always been part of my life, they’re in my blood,” she says. She grew up in Detroit, the “Motor City,” spent hours and hours in her father’s body shop, and worked for a car dealer once she graduated from high school. That stands her in good stead today. Detailed questions from customers do not put her off her stride. Neither does the final check in the workshop.
Forty-five minutes to go before the Bentayga is scheduled for delivery. Kristina uses the app to send the customer a reminder that the car will be delivered to his door at 11 a.m. Now comes the best moment for her: she settles in behind the steering wheel, drives out of the garage and makes a quick stop at a café to buy two cappuccinos – one for the customer and one for herself. Then she takes the highway that follows the Pacific coastline, heading for the picturesque Palos Verdes Peninsula in Los Angeles County.
“Possessing a Bentley is much more than just owning a car – it is an all-encompassing experience of luxury.”
Kristina Martin, concierge with Bentley on Demand
Bentley on Demand was launched as a pilot scheme in Los Angeles, New York, and Dallas in May 2017. Other cities in the United States and abroad are to follow soon. There are also plans to expand the connectivity features. Bentley on Demand already offers owners of these luxury cars a unique service: they can select a vehicle via the Bentley Network app and drive it for several days. The perfect solution for people who would like to try out a different model – or for Bentley drivers who do not want to forego the Bentley experience while on vacation or traveling on business. The concierges always deliver the car to the customer’s preferred location – their home, a hotel, or a café. And they collect the car at the preferred location, too.
It’s 11 a.m. sharp and Kristina has drawn up in front of a yellow house. The 30-minute drive was too short – for her anyway. But she has arrived exactly on time and that is the most important thing. Taking the cappuccino with her, she rings the doorbell, and a gentleman in his mid-thirties opens the door. A quick greeting, a little small talk. Kristina would like to know why the customer has chosen a Bentayga. He explains that he already owns a Bentley sedan, a 2013 Flying Spur⁴, and found out about the new Bentayga from the Bentley app. He has never sat in an SUV from Bentley before, so he wanted to try one out. The two make their way to the car.
“I don’t have to explain the car’s features very often, because the customer is already familiar with Bentleys,” Kristina says, and demonstrates some features of the new Bentayga, such as Apple CarPlay and the head-up display, that maximize driving pleasure. The brief introduction completed, Kristina hands over her business card – just in case there are any questions or emergencies – and takes a taxi back to the office. The customer has reserved the Bentayga for three days, and Kristina will be back again after that. What happens in the meantime? “Sometimes customers contact me. They usually have specific questions about the car. They might want to know how the seat massage system works,” she explains. The concierge and the customer communicate via the Bentley Network app. “Other customers let me know they would like to keep the Bentley for an extra day.” And of course she does her best to accommodate special requests. “One customer wanted to let his brother drive. I soon sorted out the formalities.”
When Kristina gets back to the hall in Long Beach, she meets Barrett, one of the other concierges, who is just about to set off. There is a Continental GT to collect at 2:30 p.m. in West Hollywood. Barrett has scheduled an hour to get there. “L.A. and the traffic, better safe than sorry,” he says. The two have known each other for years, and both worked at the same motor shows. “We were really pleased when Bentley asked us both whether we would like to take on jobs as concierges, because it meant we could finally start working together,” Kristina recalls.
Sometimes there are three customers a day. Sometimes there is only one. Like today. Kristina pops into the office and then gets into a taxi. She always keeps an eye on her business cell phone. Maybe the Bentayga driver will want to know how the seat massage system works.
1 Bentley Bentayga: fuel consumption, l/100 km: combined 13.1; CO₂ emissions combined in g/km: 296; efficiency class: F
2 Bentley Mulsanne: fuel consumption, l/100 km: combined 16.9; CO₂ emissions combined in g/km: 393; efficiency class: G
3 Bentley Continental GT: fuel consumption, l/100 km: combined 14.5; CO₂ emissions combined in g/km: 338; efficiency class: G
4 Bentley 2013 Flying Spur: fuel consumption, l/100 km: combined 14.7; CO₂ emissions combined in g/km: 343; efficiency class: G