Tuesday, 19 March 2013
Bentley set to build an SUV
IF Bentley is to achieve its goal of 15,000 sales a year by 2018, then it will require a sports utility vehicle (SUV), according to the company’s chief executive officer, Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber.
The Crew-based company sold just over 8,500 cars last year – 22 per cent higher than in 2011, but still down on the 2007 best-year total of 10,000.
Dr. Schreiber said the business case of an SUV is “extremely positive”.
“If we receive the green light (from the Board) we will enter the market in 2015-2016,” he added.
This suggests the company’s engineers (and even possibly some UK-based subcontract powertrain consultancy companies) have already carried out extensive studies into an ultra-luxury SUV, as well as some vehicle engineering in order to make those dates achievable.
Sales and marketing director Kevin Rose believes an SUV could add 3,000 to 4,000 sales a year to Bentley’s sales figures in a full year. The US and China would take half the production, with Russia a strong third market – that is if the current status within all three regions remains as now. Bentley is already adding 20 new dealers to its Chinese network.∎