Bentley’s first electric car, to arrive in 2025, will be built at the luxury firm’s Crewe plant in the UK, it confirmed today.
The news cements the future of the Bentley factory, which employs 4000 people, as it commits £2.5 billion to the site and research and development over the next decade with a particular focus on sustainability.
While it has long been hoped that Bentley EVs would be built at the plant, CEO Adrian Hallmark told Autocar in 2020 that it must earn the right to do so ahead of its Volkswagen Group peers. That has now happened.
He told Autocar today: “This has been a three-year slog. We had to fix the basics and make the company work. We had Covid thrown at us and I think we managed that better than most. We’ve completely restored confidence that Bentley can deliver. It is the fruit of three years of performance and convincing, and I’m delighted that this is the decision.”
Join Autocar Business Live on 1 Feb, as we talk with Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark about the latest Beyond100 electrification plans. Visit Autocar Business Insight
Unpainted bodies of the upcoming EV will, however, be built in the Volkswagen Group plant in Hanover, Germany, before being shipped to Crewe. A sibling EV from Audi - which has led the development of the luxury EV platform - is set to be assembled at the Hanover site.
Today’s announcement forms part of Bentley’s Beyond100 strategy, which was launched in 2020 and will see Bentley go exclusively electric and fully carbon neutral by 2030.
Alongside the existing site, Bentley will build a new greenfield facility. Not all of the land for the expansion is yet purchased, but any facility will be adjacent to the current buildings rather than at another location in Crewe.
The so-called ‘Bentley Dream Factory’, which includes the existing site and the upcoming expansion, is intended to transform Bentley operations “into the future benchmark of luxury car manufacturing with unique customer and employee experiences”, incorporating next-generation digital manufacturing concepts as well as having a low environmental impact.
Hallmark 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% battery-electric vehicles in just eight years.