On November 14th, the Georgetown Retail and Luxury Association (GRLA) had the distinct privilege of hosting a case study with Mark Del Rosso, President and CEO of Bentley Motors, Inc. Mr. Del Rosso was appointed to this position in early June after previously holding the role of COO of Audi for nine years. Today, Bentley is one of the largest and most affluent names in the luxury automotive industry. Mr. Del Rosso provided us with a glimpse into what has inspired him throughout his life and contributed to his successful career in the automotive industry.
Mr. Del Rosso started his career in the automotive industry at Toyota shortly after graduating from the University of Southern California. He worked within sales and marketing with Toyota, specifically with their Lexus division. After working with Toyota for approximately 25 years, Mr. Del Rosso transitioned to Audi in 2008.
Reflecting on when he first heard about the opportunity at Audi, Mr. Del Rosso talked about the brand not holding the same global recognition it has today. He recalls looking at the opportunity as both an exciting and rewarding challenge. People like Tom Ford, a leader and icon within the fashion industry, were Mr. Del Rosso’s inspirations who motivated him to join the Audi team. When Tom Ford joined the House of Gucci, the Gucci brand was struggling greatly in the competitive luxury market. However, Tom Ford revolutionized the brand and Gucci is one of the leading fashion companies today. Mark Del Rosso was able to do the same in his time at Audi, where over the course of nine years he helped make the brand the powerhouse it is today.
Mr. Del Rosso recalls being very happy at Audi and not looking to pursue other positions. However, when he got the phone call to be the CEO of Bentley, he said it seemed like the “perfect next step” in his career. He said Bentley seduced him and caused him to have a romantic relationship with the brand.
With Bentley, Mr. Del Rosso recently introduced their new flagship vehicle, the Bentayga. The Bentayga is the only luxury SUV on the market and has had a very successful launch this year. Mr. Del Rosso went on to talk about Bentley as a brand that derives value from its superior and exquisite car design process. Recalling his trip to the Bentley factory in Crewe, England, he talked about the brilliant designers he witnessed putting in hours of work to make sure every stitch of the leather was perfect.
Additionally, Mr. Del Rosso talked about the importance of cobranding, citing the partnership with luxury watch maker Breitling as an example of a mutually beneficial partnership.
“For us, Breitling made the best sense. Again, [Breitling] being a company that has a rich story and heritage of product that’s so magnificent, we thought that the partnership would really help both our companies move forward into the future.”
However, Bentley’s challenges are not over. Like any automotive company, Bentley needs to adapt and adjust to the latest industry trends. For Bentley, that trend is technology.
“As you see, manufactures go through what you call minor change and major change, and it’s always an opportunity to invest. You have to prioritize what’s the most customer relevant investment one can make. And clearly, technology is an area that we needed to fortify and that’s why the Bentayga came with the most recent technology.”
This goes to show Mr. Del Rosso and the Bentley team is focused on providing each Bentley vehicle with the latest customer relevant technology and is always looking for ways to innovate and improve further. We sincerely appreciated the opportunity to host Mr. Del Rosso and look forward to the success he will bring to Bentley.