I went to see Bentley in Crewe on Wednesday for reasons that will become apparent in a few weeks time, and was lucky enough to be given a tour of the factory. For all those who think Bentley is now just a badge and its products mere VWs differentiated by as small and superficial degrees as deemed necessary to charge a substantial six figure sum for even the very cheapest, I’d like to offer some statistical reassurance.
In a typical VW factory, 80 per cent of the workers are on the line, with 20 per cent involved in building specialised off-line assemblies. At Bentley these numbers are precisely reversed. While on the line a Mulsanne will spend 90 minutes at each station before moving on. A Nissan Micra spends 61 seconds.
Even a Continental, whose bodies arrive pre-painted and are merely assembled in Crewe, takes 125 hours to turn into a car: a VW Polo takes 10 in its entirety, less time than is taken to assemble a single picnic table for a Mulsanne.
Read more at Motor Sport Magazine On-line