Bentley's Preparations To Produce First SUV: 140 New Employees, One Billion Euros Investment
|   Sunday, June 01, 2014
After the Volkswagen Group decided that Bentley's SUV model will be launched in 2016 and it will be produced in the same factory that assembles the Mulsanne, Continental GT and Flying Spur, the Crewe production site is preparing to host the awaited new model.

The long-awaited appearance of an SUV in the Bentley range will bring 140 new jobs for the factory at Crewe, United Kingdom. The three model lines, which are making the aforementioned brands via 100 percent handmade processes, of the English factory will receive a fourth one, dedicated to one of the most interesting and unique designs that the brand ever developed in Cheshire in its entire history.
According to a press release by Bentley, 90 of the 140 new positions will be dedicated to engineers with the rest of the new positions going to the disciples recruited from courses the luxury manufacturer organizes every year.

Investing in staff is part of a plan through which the Volkswagen Group, the company that owns Bentley, has proposed to invest nearly one billion euros over the next three years in the factory based in Crewe in order to expand manufacturing capacity. Following this investment, and the launch of new models, the British brand's sales are expected to jump from 10,120 units in 2013 to around 15,000 by 2018.

The new SUV bearing the Bentley brand will be inspired by the EXP 9 concept presented at the Geneva Motor Show in 2012, but the differences from an aesthetic point of view will be deep. The model, which has already been shown in a teaser published by Bentley this spring, has already been ordered by 2,000 customers who have placed the money in advance, even if its price will be very high.

According to British officials, the starting price for the new Bentley will be higher than the top of the most expensive Range Rover model in its highest on equipment level, which costs about 140,000 pounds. Its launch will take place probably next autumn at the Frankfurt Motor Show and orders will start being honored from 2016.
In order to produce this 100 percent handmade SUV at its factory in Crewe, Bentley will import parts and from the factory the VW Group has in Bratislava, where they are producing the Porsche Cayenne, Audi Q7 and VW Touareg, thus following the already-established mechanisms.

At present, 3700 workers are hired by Bentley's plant in Crewe. Also, 981 million euro will be invested by the VW Group into Bentley's factory, which is regarded as the Centre of Excellence in the group.

"For the SUV we anticipate a sales volume of 3,000 per year, so this will play a key role in helping us hit the 2018 target," Bentley spokesman declared for Automotive News Europe.

The largest market for Bentley's SUV is expected to be the United States, followed by China and the UK. Rival from Rolls-Royce brand are still thinking about whether to add an SUV in their range, while sports car manufacturers such as Maserati or Lamborghini promised to join the segment in the next two years.
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