Bentley has confirmed that it is to build an SUV. The new model line will be built in Crewe and will go on sale in 2016.
This move will create more than 1,000 jobs at Bentley’s Crewe plant.
The upcoming model, which will become the firm’s fourth model line, will be a “thoroughbred” Bentley, which will represent the brand’s hallmarks of "luxury, performance, quality and craftsmanship”. Bentley claims it will be the most powerful SUV on the market.
The announcement of a production SUV follows the Bentley EXP 9 F concept, which was shown at the 2012 Geneva motor show. It is likely to share its platform with the next-generation Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne.
David Cameron, who was present at the announcement said, “This £800 million investment and a thousand 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 their new vehicle here, not only creating a thousand jobs, but safeguarding many more, as well as increasing training opportunities for highly skilled apprentices.”
Volkswagen group boss, Martin 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.”