11 October 2004

Bentley has denied reports that next year’s four-door saloon will be built at parent company VW’s Dresden factory, claiming that the workforce at the Crewe factory have already been told that the car will be built in the north-west of England.

But Bentley has admitted that a fallback plan is in place to use the Germany factory if capacity in Crewe becomes a problem, although it won’t say how many cars would constitute a full house.

The introduction of a Continental GT cabrio could also trigger the shift of the saloon to Germany. The under-utilised Dresden plant currently builds the slow-selling VW Phaeton, and is the ‘obvious choice’, according to sources, as it has plenty of spare capacity. Bentley also says only final assembly would take place in Germany, with the manufacturing of engines and wood and leather interior trim carried out on the UK. Crewe is expected to pump out 5000 Continental GTs and 600-700 Arnages this year.

Another reason to use Dresden is that the saloon, which goes on sale next summer, is said to be more closely related to the Phaeton than the shorter Continental GT.

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