You Can Put a Bentley in Your Living Room Now
SAN DIEGO ( MainStreet) Could sleeping on a bed made by Bentley possibly feel as luxurious as driving a car made by one of the world's priciest carmakers?
How about lounging on a sofa made by Bentley?
Bentley is hoping the answer to those questions is a resounding yes.
The English car manufacturer has just unveiled a furniture line inspired by the craftsmanship and materials used inside Bentley's automobiles. The collection is designed to furnish luxury homes and offices, according to a press release from Bentley.
A mix of traditional and modern design, Bentley's furniture line includes chairs, chaise longues, cabinets, a dining table, coffee tables and a bed.
Automotive industry analysts say furniture is a smart move for Bentley.
"Brand extensions like this are a logical way to monetize a luxury marque like Bentley," says Brian Millar, director of strategy for London-based Sense Worldwide , who has worked on brand strategy for numerous auto manufacturers, including launching the CL class for Mercedes and developing brand strategy for BMW.
"Bentley can't make cars below a certain price point without damaging their credibility and risk eating into VW's higher-end Audis," Millar continues. "Volkswagen is a very clever portfolio player and won't let that happen. But furniture is a logical way to help people buy into the Bentley brand without paying for a car."
The furniture line may be a less expensive way to experience Bentley, but it still isn't cheap. Prices in the collection range from about $4,700 to more than $20,000.
The style of the collection echoes that of the legendary automobiles.
Most of the pieces in the Richmond seating collection, which includes sofas, chaise longues and armchairs, are available in the same selection of veneers available to Bentley car customers.
The Madeley & Kendal dining table, meanwhile, comes with chairs that are embellished in leather and can have the Bentley logo embroidered on the back upon request. The table itself is made of curved wood panels, with edges embellished in leather and feet made of steel with a gunmetal finish.
The Canterbury bed is characterized by an imposing headboard available in leather or fabric.
The move into furniture and other items beyond automobiles is often an attempt to appeal to women, Millar says.
"Car manufacturers are branching out into broader areas of design. They're seeing women as increasingly important purchasers, who are more interested in cars as design objects than nerdy performance machines. Hence, Mercedes-Benz sponsoring fashion weeks, positioning itself as a fashion design company," Millar says. "BMW's California-based DesignworksUSA is a product design consultancy that has designed shavers, bicycles and watches. And yes, they design lots of furniture."