The British luxury car maker Bentley Motors, which is owned by the German auto giant Volkswagen, will invest more than £800m over the next three years to build its first sport utility vehicle (SUV) at its plant in Crewe.
Bentley currently develops Mulsanne, Flying Spur, and Continental GT models of vehicles. The new SUV, expected to go for sale in 2016, will become the company’s fourth model.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron said: “This £800m of investment and a thousand new jobs from Bentley is fantastic news for both Crewe and for the UK as a whole. It is another important milestone in strengthening our economy.
“One sector that we know is sprinting ahead in the global race is our booming automotive industry. The UK became a net exporter of cars for the first time this year and we launched the Government’s Automotive Strategy to help continue this success for years to come.
“I am delighted that Bentley will be building their new vehicle here, not only creating a thousand jobs, but safeguarding many more, as well as increasing training opportunities for highly skilled apprentices.”
Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the board of Volkswagen Group, said: “The Volkswagen Group believes in the UK as a competitive location for industrial production. 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.”
Wolfgang Schreiber, chairman and CEO of Bentley, said: “This is fantastic news for Bentley and for the UK. Bentley is increasingly successful and this new fourth model line will leverage the success of the global SUV market. The support of everyone involved with the company has been fundamental to this decision, which will ensure sustainable growth for the company.”
Apart from boosting the UK economy, Bentley’s investment is expected to create 1,000 new jobs.