Bentley shifting W12 engine production to UKThu, 20 Mar 2014 09:31:00 EST
Who would you think would be the largest producer of 12-cylinder engines in the world? Mercedes? BMW? Ferrari? Think again: as you might have guessed from the headline, it's Bentley. The thing is that, while all Bentley automobiles are manufactured in the UK, its engines aren't: while the 6.75-liter V8 in the Mulsanne is made at home, the innovative 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 engine in Continental models so equipped (like the newer 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8) is shipped in from Germany. But that won't be the case any longer.
Bentley has just announced that production of the W12 engine is moving to its home base in Crewe by the end of this year. The shift in production (which follows the migration of the Flying Spur from Dresden to Crewe in 2007) will create 100 jobs in the UK – a country which employs some 142,000 workers in the automotive sector – and produce as many as 9,000 engines per year. That in and of itself would account for the vast majority of the 10,000-plus cars Bentley made last year, but will also make Bentley an exporter of engines for the first time in its history.
Right there at the factory, Bentley will fit the engines into twelve-cylinder versions of the Continental GT, GTC and Flying Spur, and send some back to Germany for use in the Audi A8. Applications within the Volkswagen brand itself like the Phaeton and Touareg no longer use the W12 engine, but could conceivably use it again in the future – they'll just have to bring them in from England is all.
ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY MADE IN BRITAIN
- Bentley to become centre of excellence for W12 engines
- Bentley to export engines for the first time in its history
- 100 jobs across the business to be created
(Crewe/London, 19 March 2014) Bentley has firmly reinforced its position as the world's largest producer of 12 cylinder engines after announcing its Crewe headquarters will become the centre of excellence for the Volkswagen Group for all W12 engine production from the end of 2014 onwards. With this decision, Bentley will export engines for the first time in its history, creating around 100 jobs across the business.
Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors, said: "This is an important step, not just for Bentley but also for the UK manufacturing sector. This W12 centre of excellence is recognition of the long standing engine manufacturing expertise we have that has resulted in performance improvements across the model ranges over recent years. The production of this advanced engine and its future generations will bring new technologies and skills to Crewe."
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "Our world beating car industry employs 142,000 people in the UK and is worth £11.2 billion to our economy.
"With more than four out of every five cars made in the UK exported to the rest of the world, the news that Bentley will now export engines as well is another feather in their cap. The Government's Industrial Strategy is supporting world-class companies like Bentley to create highly skilled long term jobs and promote exports."
The W12 engine is an advanced 12 cylinder high performance engine in a unique 'W' configuration. The engine offers high levels of power and torque. Bentley expects to produce up to 9,000 engines per year at peak times.
By Noah Joseph
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