Bentley Opens 140 New Positions in Preparation for SUV Launch
Openings Include 90 Engineers, 51 Apprentice Positions
Bentley's development of an SUV is no secret, with the unveiling of the EXP-9F concept, as well as periodic updates from executives about the vehicle's development. The vehicle's march toward production continues with Bentley's announcement of the opening of more than 140 positions within the company, including 90 skilled engineers and 51 apprentices. The engineering hires will be spread among multiple areas, including chassis, powertrain, electrical, body and trim, and whole vehicle.
Of the 51 apprentice positions, 40 of them will be dedicated to the preparation of the launch of the SUV in 2016. In the release, Bentley also revealed it plans to offer a plug-in hybrid option on 90 percent of its model lineup by the end of the decade. Although a tiny part of parent company Volkswagen AG's overall sales volume, the brand set an all-time sales record in 2013 of 10,120 cars, with a goal of 15,000 cars by 2018.
The new Bentley SUV is expected to share its platform and a significant amount of its hardware with the next-generation Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne, and Volkswagen Touareg. Initial reports indicated the vehicle would be a three-row, six- or seven-passenger model, but more recent information suggests it will be a smaller, sportier, two-row model—but still larger than a Cayenne or Touareg.