Bentley May Bring a Second, Smaller SUV to its Lineup
Even though more and more car manufacturers have been continuously increasing their crossover/SUV lineups in recent years, it seems that the market for this type of vehicles is still on the rise. This why the people in charge of Bentley are apparently thinking about launching yet another SUV in the near future, a smaller model to accompany the already-confirmed "Falcon."
According to Autocar’s Steve Cropley, who recently had a chat with Bentley chairman and CEO Wolgang Dürheimer, the British luxury marque has also noticed that the SUV market is "expanding three times faster than the market as a whole." With original sales predictions for Bentley’s first ever SUV sitting at just 3,000 units per year, it seems that over 4,000 people have already expressed interest in buying the internally-codenamed "Falcon" SUV.
Dürheimer doesn’t seem to think that those numbers are enough though, and in his push of making Bentley achieve an annual production of 20,000 units by 2020, another smaller SUV could be a big part of the solution. As the Bentley factory in Crewe will receive upgrades costing no less than £840 million ($1,268 billion as of January 8, 2015) in about a year from now, there shouldn’t be any production capacity problems with adding a second crossover SUV to the lineup. At the moment, there are no clear plans for another SUV besides the big "Falcon," but if there were, the model would probably be based on the second-generation Audi Q5 and Porsche Macan platform, which would be made available by the Volkswagen Group.
Click past the jump to read more about Bentley’s future SUV.
Why it matters
There is no denying that a second SUV in the Bentley lineup would push the luxury carmaker to an even more mainstream area than where it is now, which could backfire from some points of view. Since a smaller Bentley SUV would also be cheaper, its existence should result in improved sales for the entire company, while also bringing the flying B into the garages of people who never would have dreamed about owning a Bentley.
This strategy seems to be a double-edged sword, since improved sales and more mainstream models usually degrade the aura and prestige of a brand. Just look at Ferrari in 5 or 10 years and you will see what I mean. For Bentley to remain perceived as an exclusive and prestigious carmaker in the future, a smaller SUV needs not happen — the giant "Falcon" is enough as it is.