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Bentley SUV will create a new niche

Tue, 17 Sep 2013

The Bentley SUV (EXP 9 F pictured) will create a new market sector.

We all saw the Bentley SUV when it arrive two years ago at the Geneva Motor show, and the general consensus was along the lines of ‘What a truck’. But Bentley have taken that reaction on board and are busy redesigning the looks of their SUV (well, the exterior anyway – the interior was lovely) to give it a more appealing look, one probably more biased towards an SUV version of the Continental Series rather than the Mulsanne.

The Bentley SUV is now signed-off for production, will be built in Crewe and will arrive in 2016. And Bentley’s Head of Sales and Marketing, Kevin Rose, is making big claims for their new off-roader.

Speaking to Automotive News, Kevin said the SUV will be a proper off-roader as well as a luxury car. He even declared – rather boldly – that it will be as capable off-road as the Range Rover. Which may come back to haunt him.

But with 30 per cent of Bentley owners also owning a Range Rover, it’s a market Bentley can’t ignore, and can’t afford to get wrong.

Bentley seem to be aiming at a price point over £150k (although Bentley dealers would like that to be higher) which is a chunk above that of even the best specced Range Rover Autobiography.

And that differentiation – coupled to an opulent Bentley interior and Range Rover equalling abilities – leads Bentley to believe the Falcon will create a new niche in the market; one they can dominate.

It’s a bold claim, but if Bentley do get it right they could see their target of 4,000 sales a year for their SUV accomplished.

By Cars UK