Bentley SUV, Imported From Bratislava

bentley suv imported from bratislava

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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  • MRF 95 T-Bird MRF 95 T-Bird on Mar 20, 2013

    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.

  • Otterpops Otterpops on Mar 20, 2013

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

  • 285exp I am quite sure that it is a complete coincidence that they have announced a $7k price increase the same week that the current administration has passed legislation extending the $7k tax credit that was set to expire. Yep, not at all related.
  • Syke Is it possible to switch the pure EV drive on and off? Given the wonderful throttle response of an EV, I could see the desirability of this for a serious off-roader. Run straight ICE to get to your off-roading site, switch over the EV drive during the off-road section, then back to ICE for the road trip back home.
  • ToolGuy Historical Perspective Moment:• First-gen Bronco debuted in MY1966• OJ Simpson Bronco chase was in 1994• 1966 to 1994 = 28 years• 1994 to now = 28 yearsFeel old yet?
  • Ronnie Schreiber From where is all that electricity needed to power an EV transportation system going to come? Ironically, the only EV evangelist that I know of who even mentions the fragile nature of our electrical grid is Elon Musk. None of the politicians pushing EVs go anywhere near it, well, unless they are advocating for unreliable renewables like wind and solar.
  • FreedMike I just don’t see the market here - I think about 1.2% of Jeep drivers are going to be sold on the fuel cost savings here. And the fuel cost savings are pretty minimal, per the EPA: fuel costs for this vehicle are $2200 and $2750 for the equivalent base turbo-four model. I don’t get it.