Bentley announced today that they have been given the go-ahead to start working on the 2016 SUV. The Volkswagen AG subsidiary presented the concept on a new, luxurious SUV at last year's Geneva Auto Show.
The SUV will be assembled in Bentley's main factory in Crewe, England. Bentley President, Christophe Georges, has promised that the new SUV "will be the most luxurious and most powerful SUV on the market". It is expected that the company will invest over 1.2 billion dollars on the SUV within the next three years and will lead to the opening of 1,000 new jobs.
Although the idea received some harsh critiques, it is believed that the 2016 SUV will be the best-selling Bentley ever. Martin Winterkorn, the Volkswagen Group CEO stated during the announcement today,“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.”
A sketch of the SUV was released today. The vehicle will be based on the EXP 9 F concept presented at the Geneva motor show last year. There will, however be changes made from the EXP 9 F design.
Bentley spokesperson, Graeme Russell, made a statement saying, “We believe that this car can create a niche for itself within the SUV market in a similar manner to the way the original Continental GT created a market for itself when it launched. Given the impact that had on Bentley sales, taking the company to over 10,000 units in 2007, I think it is fair to say that there is a level of experience both within Bentley and within the VW Group that could well see the SUV model contribute its fair share of the global sales aspirations of 15,000 vehicles per annum.” Bentley is hoping and planning on selling 3,000 SUVs their first year.