Bentley says the new facility will be integral to its preparations for future battery-powered electric vehicle production
Bentley has started work on its new Launch Quality Centre and Engineering Technical Centre, which is being constructed at its headquarters in Crewe.
The company says the new facility will be integral to its preparations for future Battery-Powered Electric Vehicle (BEV) production and to set a new benchmark in next generation, digital, flexible and high-value manufacturing operations. The centre is planned for completion by the end of 2023 and will have approximately 300 colleagues.
It will cost £35m to construct and forms part of a £2.5 billion, ten-year investment programme in future products and at the Pyms Lane factory in Crewe, where Bentley models are built.
New buildings include a simulated BEV assembly line, as preparation for the introduction of the company’s first BEV in 2026, a software integration centre, metrology testing, prototype workshop and materials development capability.
The new Launch Quality Centre will take up two floors, each covering 4,000 sq. m. The in-house metrology team will be located on the ground floor, and the second floor will be home to a production proving ground, comprising a laboratory for future materials testing and a mini assembly line to test future BEV assembly.
The Engineering Technical Centre, which will house a prototype workshop, will also be located across two floors, covering 13,000 sq. m.
Key to the facility’s integration is a structured, comprehensive application of skills in training, testing and launch preparation for all software and electrical, digital high-voltage systems.
These departments will be relocated from their current homes in the A1 building, which is the oldest existing building at the Pyms Lane site, and which will be transformed to BEV assembly in time for production to commence in 2026.
Peter Bosch, member of the Board for Manufacturing, said: “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-emphasises our commitment to both our Beyond100 strategy and our long-term future at the site.”
Bentley says transforming Crewe into a ‘Dream Factory’ is key to its Beyond100 strategy, which will see the company reinvent its product range to support an electrified future while achieving carbon neutral status by 2030.