By on March 19, 2013

As the Bentley SUV continues its inevitable march towards production, the latest news from Bentley itself is that the SUV won’t be built in its famed Crewe, England factory, but in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Apparently, VW’s board may demand that production take place in Bratsilava, where vehicles like the Volkswagen Touraeg are built. While Eastern European factories have long proven their ability to produce reliable, high-quality vehicles, it would be a huge departure for Bentley. And of course, it all comes down to money.

In a stunning expropriation of today’s environmentally friendly vernacular, Bentley chief Wolfgang Schreiber told Autocar

“We want to build sustainable cars that make money, but we have the components and the craftsmanship skills in Crewe.”

In this case, “sustainable” has nothing to do with polar bears or rainforests, but simply “making a lot of profit off of a Touraeg” by building it in a low-cost country. So how would VW get around this?

If the model were to be built in Bratislava, it would be the first Bentley sold without the famed ‘Made in Crewe, England’ plaque since some examples of the Flying Spur were built in Dresden in 2005/06. Instead, a ‘Designed in Crewe, England’ plaque would likely feature.

Rather than trot out the usual backward-looking tropes about “heritage” and “brand values”, let’s recognize that we’re in a different era, and any honor associated with the Bentley brand went out the window when they produced those ghastly Breitling Bentley watches. Instead, let’s applaud Bentley and the VW Group for the absolutely predatory cynicism involved here. They know they can make a very profitable vehicle (a high margin ultra-luxury SUV) even more profitable by building it in Slovakia, because the nouveau riche of the BRIC Countries – and America, for that matter, will not give a lick as to its country of origin. Bravo!

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20 Comments on “Bentley SUV, Imported From Bratislava...”


  • avatar
    carrya1911

    …because only in Eastern Europe is it not seen as the gaudiest possible use of four tires?

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Needs moar grilles.

  • avatar
    mike978

    “because the nouveau riche of the BRIC Countries – and America, for that matter, will not give a lick as to its country of origin. Bravo!”

    Unfortunately I believe Bertel is right, heritage has long gone. I wonder when BMW will stop building RR’s in the UK?

  • avatar
    cargogh

    “those ghastly Breitling Bentley watches”. I was actually thinking about those when I first looked at the headlamp and wheel.
    W. O. is probably rolling in his grave.

  • avatar
    NN

    Smart brand management, I say. This vehicle looks to be designed to appeal only to the most gaudy tastes, not really fitting of traditional, conservative British wealth (or wealthy heirs in Monaco). Maximize profit from the buyers of this monster while allowing traditional Bentley buyers to see it as not a “real Bentley”

  • avatar
    david42

    Only two “made ins” still matter to consumers:
    -Made in Japan: Good
    -Made in China: Bad

    All of the rest are interchangeable.

    To be fair, “Made in USA” has a patriotic ring for some people, but it’s not a statement about quality, craftsmanship, or design.

    • 0 avatar
      copanacional

      How’s your Chinese made Apple product? Is that bad too?

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        Mine is terrible. I have never hated an electronics purchase more. The only thing that has stopped me from throwing it out my car window an running it over repeatedly is the thought of paying over 4 times what a competitor’s comparable mp3 player would have been. First and last apple product. They can keep their overpriced crap.

        That’s not to say all Chinese products are awful. The Chinese will build whatever you have them build, good or bad.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Someone at VW remembers WWII and is having a laugh at England’s expense.

  • avatar

    Ahh the same place that my Coffee Maker(Tassimo) is from, good things are made there, so good luck for Bentley!

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    As a huge Bentley aficionado and fan, it would be neat to see the car built in Crewe, but I agree that it was a better choice to make it profitable by building it elsewhere. And I’m sure it won’t disappoint…

  • avatar
    jhefner

    The look of this car, and the announcement, should be on the old “Rocky and Bullwinkle” show; only it should be Pottslyvania and not Bratislava.

  • avatar
    vanpressburg

    The time, when more sophisticated products were made in USA, Canada
    and West Europe only is gone. Have you seen students from Canada and from South Korea next to each other?
    I have. The Korean student is way better than Canadian.
    They are even not in the same league.
    Apple is going to make Mac Pro in the USA. Ipads and iphones are difficult to make,they will be made in China, but the Mac Pro is a much easier-to-build machine. This is the kind of Mac that you don’t need sophisticated labor to build.
    No wonder, they started to make sophisticated cars in Slovakia.

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    This should certainly reduce shipping costs since most of them will be sold in Russia.

  • avatar
    Ron B.

    It’s just another ugly VW.

    Bentley ceased to exist as a singular Brand when Rolls Royce took it over last Century. Everything made since has just been a rebranded marketing exercise.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Gaudy, looks like a Range Rover left at the Pimp my Ride shop. You figure they could design a SUV.CUV with the elegant lines of a Continental or Arnage.

  • avatar
    Otterpops

    Oh good. The additional height will make it easier to identify The Worst Drivers in China at a distance.


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