Bentley Motors has announced that its much anticipated sports utility vehicle (SUV) might be built in Bratislava rather than at Crewe.
It would be the first time that the company, owned by German car giant Volkswagen, would have built a complete car abroad.
The plant in the Slovak capital already produces other SUV models for the group including the VW Toureg and Audi Q7 and would lower production costs of the Bentley.
The company is also considering making parts in Crewe and shipping them to Bratislava for final assembly.
“It might be assembled somewhere else, but the DNA is still going to be Bentley,” said Wolfgang Schreiber, Bentley’s chairman and chief executive.
A prototype of the SUV, which is currently not named, was shown at last year’s Geneva Motor Show and the green light for the project is expected to be given in the coming weeks.
The model will be redesigned from the one seen in Geneva. More than 2000 orders have already been placed for the model, despite no one having seen the final look or price.
The company also announced strong financial results at their annual press conference. Bentley’s operating profits rose to £100.5m in 2012 from just £8m in 2011. The company global sales were also up by 22% with 87% of all their cars being sold abroad.
Around 50 per cent of sales of the new SUV are expected to come from the US and China, with the Middle East, Russia and Europe next in line with an even split.
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