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Bentley has announced plans to invest more than £800 million at its factory in Crewe to prepare for the construction of its new £150,000 SUV. The new car will be the fourth model in Bentley’s current range and its first outing into the luxury SUV market, a market which has seen exponential grow in demand over recent years, mainly from countries like China and the USA. The new SUV is part of Bentley’s plan to take advantage of emerging markets and double its sales of cars to 15,000 units by 2018.
Bentley is owned by the Volkswagen Group and up until recently VW had been considering building the new SUV at a plant in Bratislava, the Slovakian capital. In the end numerous factors led to the decision to build in Britain but surely the heritage of the Bentley brand was one of the major considerations. Otherwise the long held tradition of every Bentley bearing a plaque reading ‘Made in Crewe, England’ may not have continued for much longer.
Bentley has thoroughly set its sights on their new model being the worlds’ fastest SUV when it goes on sale in 2016, suggesting that the most likely engine choice would be their 6.0 litre twin-turbo W12, but other models could use lower capacity V8’s and still offer some serious pace.
Bentley have confirmed that the final model will resemble their EXP 9 F concept car that was unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. Although, customers don’t seem too concerned as Bentley have already received 2,000 advanced orders even before the final design – or price- is revealed