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by Tim Beissmann

Bentley has reinforced its standing as the largest producer of 12-cylinder engines in the world, announcing its Crewe headquarters in the UK will become the home of all Volkswagen Group W12 engine production from the end of 2014.

Existing W12 production in Salzgitter, Germany, will end later this year as assembly of the Group’s flagship engines is consolidated under one roof.

The decision will see Bentley export engines for the first time in its history, with sister brands Audi and Volkswagen set to source the British-built powerplants for their high-end models.

Bentley currently produces approximately 5000 W12 engines annually for its Continental GT and Flying Spur models, and plans to expand production to 9000 engines per year by 2017 once sales of its new SUV and the export program hit full speed.

Bentley-Continental-GT-Speed-Convertible

Bentley chairman and CEO Dr Wolfgang Schreiber said the decision would create approximately 100 new jobs at the luxury sports car company.

“This is an important step, not just for Bentley but also for the UK manufacturing sector,” Scheiber said.

“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.”

Bentley enjoyed a record year in 2013, selling 10,120 cars, up 19 per cent over the previous year, and boasting a £139.7 million ($255.6 million) profit, up 66.9 per cent over 2012.




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