DETROIT -- Bentley has announced the name of its first-ever SUV, to be revealed later this year. It will be called the Bentley Bentayga.
Wolfgang Duerheimer, CEO of Bentley Motors, told a press conference today that the name has three sources of inspiration: the Taiga, “the world’s largest transcontinental snow forest"; Roque Bentayga, a mountain peak in the subtropical Canary Islands; and the name of the founder of Bentley Motors: W.O. Bentley.
“Bentayga is a name that reflects what we know our SUV will do better than any other car in the world -- combine the best automotive luxury with outstanding performance to take the Bentley experience to new environments,” Duerhemier said in a statement.
The Bentayga will be introduced this year and will go on sale in 2016. Duerheimer said Bentley has taken deposits from 4,000 customers.
Duerheimer said Bentley hopes to gain new customers from two sources: existing Bentley customers, who have an average of eight vehicles in their garages -- including one or two SUVs -- and owners of other vehicles who might consider buying a Bentley.
Bentley is working with its dealers to prepare them for taking non-Bentley brands in trade.
Asked about the Bentayga's pricing, Duerheimer said only that the SUV would be less than Bentley's flagship Mulsanne, which starts north of $300,000.
The Bentayga will be built on a dedicated SUV platform and a separate line at the company’s factory in Crewe, England, where the company is adding 900 jobs. Bentley still has 300 open jobs across all aspects of the business including engineering, manufacturing, sales and marketing, Duerheimer said.
Duerheimer said Bentley would welcome U.S. applicants who want to spend some time in the United Kingdom.
“The challenge is to bring enough product in the beginning,” he said.
Duerheimer said the Bentayga could help Bentley get a better foothold in several global markets where it lacks a big presence, including South America and several Asian countries.
He promised the Bentayga will be the “fastest, most luxurious, most exclusive SUV in the world. In other words, it will be the Bentley of SUVs.”
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