Bentley Bentayga Production Starts in England
Ultra-Luxury SUV Arrives After $1 Billion Investment
Twenty years ago, the idea of an ultra-luxury brand building a “truck” was considered risky at best and distasteful at worst. However, the marketplace has spoken and the sales success of high-end luxury SUVs from the BMW X5, Porsche Cayenne, Range Rover, and others has proven the marketplace’s appetite for posh trucklets. The most luxurious SUV on the market to date, the $200,000-plus Bentley Bentayga, now starts production in Crewe, England, southwest of Manchester. The series production of the Bentayga represents a more than £840 million (1.26 billion U.S. dollars) investment in manufacturing facilities and new staffing.
Since the concept stage for the Bentayga, which was originally shown as the EXP 9F concept in Geneva, Bentley has hired more than 1,500 new workers to build the SUV. Related to Bentayga production is the Volkswagen Group’s (Bentley’s parent company) announcement that Crewe will be the primary source of W12 engines for the group going forward. The W12 is used most extensively in Bentley products, with limited use in the high-end Audi A8 luxury sedan. From start to finish, the Bentayga takes 130 hours to produce. The typical mass-production vehicle takes between approximately 16-20 hours to manufacture from start to finish.