Bentley Motors Ltd. may extend its current product range with a sports utility vehicle to meet demands for bigger luxury models, according to two insider sources who requested anonymity due to the confidentiality of the matter.
The two sources revealed that Bentley CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer wants the company to manufacture an off-road model and has already shared his plan with executives at parent Volkswagen AG. Duerheimer, as Porsche development chief, oversaw the sports-carmaker's push into SUVs in 2002.
Analyst Michael Tyndall at London-based Barclays Capital stated that Bentley could fetch a price of more than 120,000 euros for an SUV as part of its expansion. He further stated that there are customers who are willing to spend that much on a luxury SUV.
Porsche AG, which was once best known for sports vehicles such as the 911, now relies on the Cayenne SUV for half its deliveries. It will be adding a second SUV in 2013 to capitalize on the model's success. Jaguar Land Rover, on the other hand, is mulling a crossover vehicle.
Also, Aston Martin states that it is not ruling out an SUV-type vehicle. Luxury SUV productions is set to widen 15 percent to 481,000 units in 2015 from 417,000 in 2010, based on the data of research firm IHS Automotive.
These luxury vehicles include the 56,000-euros Range Rover Sport, the 58,000-euro ($83,000) Cayenne, and the 75,000-euro Mercedes-Benz GL-Class. Vehicle manufacturers built 298,654 luxury SUVs in 2005, according to IHS data.