Bentley Motors has announced that it will proceed with the development of the Bentley SUV, the company’s fourth model line, at its Crewe facility from 2016. The SUV will create more than 1,000 jobs in the UK, with Bentley investing more than £800m in its headquarters at Crewe and the development of new models over the next three years.
Bentley currently employs around 4,000 people at Crewe, which is home to all its operations including design, R&D, engineering and production. The luxury car manufacturer exported over £1bn worth of goods in 2012, it is also the third largest R&D investor in the UK’s automotive sector and the 18th largest nationally.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who joined Dr Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Volkswagen Group, for the announcement at Bentley’s headquarters in Crewe, said, “This £800 million investment and 1,000 new jobs from Bentley is fantastic news for both Crewe and for the UK as a whole. It is another important milestone in strengthening our economy.”¨One sector that we know is sprinting ahead in the global race is our booming automotive industry.
“One vehicle rolls off a production line somewhere in the UK every 20 seconds and we have just launched the government’s Automotive Industrial Strategy to help continue this success for years to come.”¨I am delighted that Bentley will be building its new vehicle here, not only creating 1,000 jobs, but safeguarding many more, as well as increasing training opportunities for highly skilled apprentices.”
Dr Winterkorn said, “The Volkswagen Group believes in the UK as a competitive location for industrial production. Bentley fans all around the world are looking forward to the brand’s first SUV. Together we will make this new Bentley another true Bentley – powerful, exclusive and successful.”
Business Secretary Vince Cable MP said, “This is a welcome commitment to the UK from a major international car maker. Our automotive industrial strategy proves this government’s commitment to working with world-class companies like Bentley to create jobs and promote exports.”
Welcoming the news, SMMT interim chief executive Mike Baunton said, “This is great news for Bentley employees at Crewe and is another tremendous vote of confidence in the UK auto industry. We have a globally competitive base for automotive production with our highly-skilled, flexible workforce and advanced productivity levels. UK facilities are producing luxury, premium and volume vehicles, which are winning business in markets around the world.”