Plans by Bentley and Lamborghini to build wild new SUV models to expand their product ranges may be halted say company sources as parent company Volkswagen searches for ways to limit expenditures in the midst of a European economic downturn.
Lamborghini recently showcased its SUV concept, called the Urus, during the Pebble Beach festivities in Monterey earlier this year while Bentley unveiled its SUV, called the EXP 9 F at the Geneva Motor Show last March.
The decision on both cars could come as early as November 23rd, when Volkswagen’s supervisory board is set to meet on spending issues. Speaking at the Paris Motor Show, VW finance boss Hans Dieter Poetsch made clear the necessity to limit spending and keep cash reserves. “In this environment, we need to have a considerable amount of liquidity available,” he said, while making additional comments that can now be construed to reflect reports of product delays by saying that, “It’s normal that one looks for items that aren’t imperative.”
Bentley has declined to comment on the status of its SUV, though it does not yet have the official green light for production, while Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann has confirmed that while technically unapproved, he was hoping to confirm production plans of the Urus by the end of the year.
Ironically, both SUV concepts owe their creation to the previous global economic downturn, with automakers looking to build higher-volume new products suitable for global sales, particularly in emerging markets. Since the great recession, many automakers have decided to diversify their product lineup as well as target a larger pool of potential customers.
GALLERY: Lamborghini Urus SUV
GALLERY: Bentley EXP 9 F
[Source: AutoNews Europe]