Bentley to produce the most expensive SUV in the world

Thursday 25 July 2013, 11:27 AM by

Volkswagen has given an approval for the production of the world's costliest Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) to Bentley, an ultra-luxury division of the German car maker. In what could be an unsettling move for the orthodox car lovers, Bentley, which is known for its sleek and elegant cars, will be in the process of manufacturing the first ever SUV. Volkswagen made an official announcement regarding the same, declaring that the Bentley SUV would be the most expensive in the world (in its segment) and will hit markets by 2016.

This distinguished project is expected to create around 1000 jobs in the United Kingdom, which happens to be the Europe's second largest car market. It would also require the company to invest an amount of 800 million pounds, spanning over a period of three years. The production of this SUV will be carried out at Bentley-Crewe, the headquarters for Bentley Motors Limited.

It must be noted that Porsche, another iconic brand owned by Volkswagen, had launched the Cayenne SUV over a decade back and it turned out to be a hugely successful car. Currently, the Porsche Cayenne SUV contributes around half of the company's global sales. With its new model, Bentley aims to replicate the same impact made by the Porsche Cayenne SUV in the international market. Interestingly, one of the main targets of this project is to improve Bentley's profitability. The Volkswagen Group made first quarter earnings of $3.09 billion, of which only 1 per cent was contributed by Bentley.

Industry experts believe that the potential growth in luxury SUV segment is likely to help Volkswagen in achieving success. Tim Schuldt, an Analyst at Equinet AG, based in Frankfurt, explained, “SUVs continue to be in high demand and Porsche has shown that plush sport-utility vehicles have great potential.”

Experts also feel that the Bentley SUV will face some stiff competition in the form of the Urus, a utility vehicle of Lamborghini, which is slated to be launched in 2017. Other models to compete with Bentley SUV are Maserati Kubang and Land Rover Range Rover Sport. However, die-hard fans of Bentley are disappointed by the firms' plans to launch SUVs. Fans all over the world are fearing that this foray into the SUV segment might hamper the exclusivity of these brands.

Bentley, owned by Volkswagen, is famous for sleek racing cars like the redesigned Flying Spur, which is equipped with a 6-litre 12-cylinder engine, which produces an output of 616 bhp. It must be noted that the company has set a target of selling 3000 – 4000 units of SUVs that will come with a price tag above 150000 Euros. This new model will play an important role in increasing the delivery count of Bentley to 15000 units by 2018.

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