The very first production Bentley Bentayga has left the assembly line at Bentley’s iconic headquarters in Crewe, UK.
The vehicle is the catalyst for one of the biggest investment programmes in the company’s history.
Four years on from the initial concept stage, during which time more than 1,500 UK jobs have been created, the car – part of an £840m investment programme – will now enter full production, with deliveries to customers starting in January 2016.
Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors, commented: “Bentley Bentayga will be the benchmark against which all other SUVs are measured, defining a new segment – the luxury SUV.
“This car is a celebration of UK manufacturing at its very best, not only reinforcing our commitment to industry in this country, job creation and significant investment, but to our home in Crewe. This is an important moment in our history, where we reflect and celebrate, but also look ahead to delivering this extraordinary car to our customers.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues from all parts of the business for their dedication and professionalism in delivering the Bentley Bentayga. It would not have been possible to deliver this car without the support and belief from the UK Government, our parent company and other business partners. We can all take pride in this achievement.”
The first production Bentayga, finished in paint colour – Anthracite – was handcrafted across 130 hours. During the assembly process, the car passed through a new bodystore, a new paint shop and a new assembly line, all part of this substantial investment.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron, commented: “I am delighted that the first Bentley Bentayga has rolled off the production line in Crewe. It marks the culmination of a period of exceptional hard work by Bentley and its dedicated workforce as they brought this remarkable new vehicle to market.
“The Bentayga represents an ambitious £800 million investment into the Crewe factory backed by £9.5 million from the Regional Growth Fund. It has created hundreds of valuable skilled jobs for the area and secured the future of production onsite.
“Well done to all at Bentley. This is a moment of great pride for everyone who lives and works in Crewe.”
Michael Straughan, Bentley’s member of the board for manufacturing, addressed the company’s 4,000-strong workforce as the car was driven from the final production stage. He said: “This is a proud moment for the entire company. It’s been four years in the making and is a celebration of a sector-defining British handcrafted car.
“Bentayga is the Bentley of SUVs, with a level of attention to detail only achievable thanks to the outstanding skill of a British workforce that blends exceptional craft and skill with modern production techniques and materials.”