Bentley Bolsters British Workforce to Build SUV

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

Storied British brand Bentley is adding 140 employees to its payroll. The new hires will be put to work at their headquarters in Crewe, England.

The extra person-power is required to produce the company’s upcoming SUV. Engineers will account for 90 of the workers while the remainder will be apprentices. Currently the company employs about 3,700 people in Crewe.

This hiring spree is the result of a large investment made by parent company Volkswagen Group. They’re pouring 800 million pounds into the U.K. over the next three years to upgrade the factory that will assemble this new vehicle.

Bodies for the SUV will be imported from the mothership’s plant in Bratislava, Slovakia. This is where the Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg are built. However, final assembly of the new Bentley model will take place in England.

Crossovers are big business these days, even in the super-luxury segment. Bentley hopes the new model will boost annual sales to 15,000 units by 2018. That’s a pretty hefty increase considering it delivered a little over 10,000 vehicles last year. A company spokesman said they anticipate sales of the new SUV will tally around 3,000 per annum.

Getting off on the right foot, the company already has some 2,000 pre-orders for the vehicle. Catering to affluent clientele, it should be priced competitively with Range Rover’s top-of-the-line model, which stickers for around 140,000 pounds in Great Britain; that’s about $236,000 USD.

[Source: Automotive News]

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Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

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