Bentley Motors has broken ground on its new Launch Quality Centre and Engineering Technical Centre at its headquarters in Crewe, UK. The facility will be used in preparation for Bentley’s future battery-powered electric vehicles (BEVs), as the OEM targets next-generation, digital, flexible and high-value manufacturing operations.
Before Bentley launches its first BEV in 2026, the luxury vehicle manufacturer will install a replica BEV assembly line in one of the new buildings. Designed to be a hub for future model development, the site will include a software integration center, prototype workshop, metrology testing and a dedicated area for materials development.
With an estimated construction cost of £35m (US42m), the new center forms part of Bentley’s £2.5bn (US$3bn) 10-year investment program into future products and the factory in Crewe. The construction efforts are aligned with the OEM’s Beyond100 strategy, which will see the company reinventing its entire product portfolio to support an electrified future, while achieving carbon neutral status by 2030. Construction is estimated to be completed by the end of 2023.
The Launch Quality Centre will be spread over two floors, each covering 4,000m2. he OEM’s in-house metrology team will be located on the ground floor, and tasked with measuring every part of a Bentley to the highest standards, ensuring quality, performance and longevity when vehicles roll off the production line. The second floor will feature an almost complete production proving ground, consisting of a laboratory for future materials testing and a mini assembly line to test future BEV assembly.
The Engineering Technical Centre will also be spread across two floors and will cover a total of 13,000m2.. The center will feature a prototype workshop for future models, materials development and a software integration center. Furthermore, the facility will be used for the training employees in the testing and launch preparation of all software, electrical, and digital high-voltage systems. Each department will be relocated from its current location in the A1 building, which is scheduled to be turned into a BEV assembly line ahead of production beginning in 2026.
“Breaking ground on the new Launch Quality Centre and Engineering Technical Centre is another major milestone on our journey toward an electrified, carbon-neutral future,” commented Peter Bosch, member of the board for manufacturing, Bentley.
“The automotive industry is in the middle of a digital revolution, with cars becoming true digital devices, and this presents a significant opportunity for Bentley as we aim for a benchmark position in next-generation, high-value manufacturing that supports our evolving Dream Factory and re-emphasizes our commitment to both our Beyond100 strategy and our long-term future at the site.”