British luxury car manufacturer Bentley has confirmed that its first battery electric vehicle is to be engineered and built in the UK.
As part of a £2.5bn investment spanning 10 years, it safeguards the future of the company’s Crewe plant which is being transformed into a ‘Dream Factory’ where the as-yet unnamed vehicle is to be manufactured.
Bentley says the announcement should be seen as “a major boost for the UK economy” as it also ringfences the future employment of 4,000 workers based at the facility.
The first battery-powered vehicle to wear the famous symbol of speed badge is due in 2025 and is part of the firm’s ‘Beyond100’ strategy that aims to make it exclusively electric and carbon-neutral by 2030.
Adrian Hallmark, Chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors, said: “Beyond100 is the boldest plan in Bentley’s illustrious history, and in the luxury segment.
“It’s an ambitious and credible roadmap to carbon neutrality of our total business system, including the shift to 100% BEVs in just eight years.
“Our aim is to become the benchmark not just for luxury cars or sustainable credentials but the entire scope of our operations. Securing production of our first BEV in Crewe is a milestone moment for Bentley, and the UK, as we plan for a long-term sustainable future in Crewe.”
The ’Dream Factory’ is said to transform Bentley operations into the future by dovetailing luxury car manufacturing techniques with unique customer and employee experiences.
Peter Bosch, Board Member for Manufacturing at Bentley Motors, added: “Today is arguably the most important day in Bentley’s modern history, and is a testament to the hard work and skill of our colleagues in Crewe. The journey really does start now.
“We are already marking the pinnacle in luxury car production and have already transformed our factory to become carbon neutral, with industry-leading environmental credentials. With our new ‘Dream Factory’ concept, we now go to zero also with water, waste and other environmental impacts until 2030.
“Unique craftsmanship, customer interaction and employee experience will be enhanced by digital tech, higher flexibility and new ways of personalisation. We will develop the best of Crewe into the future benchmark of luxury car manufacturing.”
These are busy times for Bentley who, before Christmas, opened the doors to its new multi-million-pound test facility in Crewe. Completed at a cost of £12.5m, the 4,600-square-metre Engineering Test Centre includes 773 square metres of office space and 1,550 square metres for the installation of a climate-controlled chassis dynamometer.