Bentley Motors confirmed today that it will proceed with the development of an entirely new car line: a luxury SUV.
Representing the company’s fourth model, the SUV will join the Mulsanne, the Flying Spur and the Continental GT in the Bentley line-up. It will go on sale in 2016. Over the next three years Bentley will invest more than £800 million in its headquarters at Crewe and the development of new models.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who was present together with Dr Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Volkswagen Group for the announcement at Bentley headquarters in Crewe, said: “This £800 million of investment and a thousand new jobs from Bentley is fantastic news for both Crewe and for the UK as a whole. It is another important milestone in strengthening our economy.
“One sector that we know is sprinting ahead in the global race is our booming automotive industry. The UK became a net exporter of cars for the first time this year and we launched the Government’s Automotive Strategy to help continue this success for years to come.
“I am delighted that Bentley will be building their new vehicle here, not only creating a thousand jobs, but safeguarding many more, as well as increasing training opportunities for highly skilled apprentices.”
Dr Winterkorn said: “The Volkswagen Group believes in the UK as a competitive location for industrial production. Bentley fans all around the world are looking forward to the brand’s first SUV. Together we will make this new Bentley another true Bentley – powerful, exclusive and successful”.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “This is a welcome commitment to the UK from a major international car maker. Our automotive industrial strategy proves this government’s commitment to working with world-class companies like Bentley to create jobs and promote exports.
“Bentley was the first firm I visited as a government minister and serves as a real example of high value manufacturing. They export more than four out of every five cars they make in the UK to the rest of the world.”
Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive, Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, added: “This is fantastic news for Bentley and for the UK. Bentley is increasingly successful and this new fourth model line will leverage the success of the global SUV market. The support of everyone involved with the Company has been fundamental to this decision, which will ensure sustainable growth for the company.”
True to the Bentley design DNA and the brand’s hallmarks of performance, quality and craftsmanship, the Bentley SUV will be the most powerful and luxurious SUV on the road. According to research conducted over the last 15 months, customers already feel extremely positive about the concept of a Bentley SUV. On this basis, the launch aims to prompt a complete reappraisal of the luxury SUV market.
Like all Bentley cars, the SUV will be built at the factory in Crewe, resulting in the creation of over 1000 jobs in the UK.
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