Bentley Invests in Crewe Headquarters to Prep for SUV
Bentley, the English manufacturer of ultra-luxurious grand tourers and sedans, announced that it would be investing more than $62 million in its Crewe, England, headquarters. The money will go toward the construction of a center for research and development, which will be the workplace for more than 1,300 Bentley engineers, 300 of which will be new hires.
The center will have more than 484,000 square feet of floor space the company says will be used for a dedicated styling studio, R&D offices, and a technical workshop. Of the new investment, Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer said, “With Bentley's new research and development centre, we will develop a new generation of Bentleys, which will continue our commitment of luxury, performance, quality, and engineering excellence.”
Key in that “new generation of Bentleys” is the brand’s first SUV, which will differ from the EXP 9 F concept of 2012. The unnamed vehicle should share some of its parts with parent company Volkswagen AG’s other sport-utes, including the next-gen Audi Q7 and upcoming Lamborghini Urus crossovers. However, we can expect bespoke interior and exterior styling for the Bentley, and the company’s soft leather upholstery and decadent wool carpeting should grace what will be a very luxurious interior.
Bentley’s announcement was greeted with praise from George Osborne, Great Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer (think “Secretary of the Treasury” and you’ll be close). Chancellor Osborne said that the highly skilled jobs created by the project are just what he wants to see, particularly since many Bentleys are exported around the world.
The Chancellor’s comments seem to put to rest worries that many had when Volkswagen purchased Bentley in 2003. Although Bentley borrows many parts from its German and Italian family members, Osborne seems convinced that Bentley is committed to England and to Crewe.
Bentley’s “ultra-luxury SUV” should come sometime in 2016, according to the company.