Bentley revealed during its annual press conference that the new Bentley SUV may be produced in Bratislava rather than in Crewe. According to Bentley chief Wolfgang Schreiber, they expect the approval for the SUV to start production to come “very soon,” believed to be within the next few weeks.
If so, the vehicle could enter production in 2015 or 2016. Schreiber said that the company just needed to resolve a few last issues, of which one is the location of the plant. There are two sites being considered. It could either be built in Crewe or at its Bratislava plant where the Porsche Cayenne, Audi Q7 and Volkswagen Touareg are built.
These are models that will be used as the basis for this yet-to-be-named SUV. Schreiber said that the company aims to make sustainable cars that generate money. He insists that capacity isn’t a problem at either plant.
It’s estimated that 3,000 to 4,000 units of this SUV are set to be built annually. While the Crewe plant has the components and craftsmanship skills, there are other factors being considered such as logistics, investment, craftsmanship, knowledge and labor rates.
The board of Bentley favors Crewe but the Volkswagen Group board is considering Bratislava for certain reasons. Schreiber said that they’re all hoping to get to the “best decision” for the brand. He pointed out that Crewe’s workers are motivated, skilled, and have excellent interior craftsmanship. If Bratislava is eventually chosen, it will be the first Bentley model to not have the “Made in Crewe, England” plaque since some Flying Spur units were built in Dresden in 2005/06. Rather, a plaque that says “Designed in Crewe, England” will be placed.