Bentley said it will make an investment of £800 million in its Crewe plant in England to prepare it for the new SUV production.
Bentley says that the new SUV will be “the most luxurious and most powerful SUV in the market” and for its production the automaker will add 1, 000 new jobs in the UK. The vehicle will hit the market in 2016. Bentley’s move, similar to the one adopted by Jaguar, is aimed at helping the automaker expand into fast-growing luxury SUV market, currently dominated by the German brands, such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
“We believe in the UK as a competitive location for industrial production. We believe in the people in Crewe,” said Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the Volkswagen group.
The automaker will add 400 new workers, to the existing 4,000 plat’s employees, and other 600 workers to the supply chain. Wolfgang Schreiber, chairman of Bentley, praised the labor unions for agreeing with longer shifts on a four-day week, a plan aimed at making the plant cost-effective. With the new SUV the plant will work at full capacity.
The new SUV will feature the plug-in hybrid technology, which means that it will have a rechargeable battery, as well as a fuel tank, with the purpose of improving fuel-efficiency. Bentley plans to manufacture 3,000 SUVs annually, after it sold 4,279 vehicles during the first half of this year.