Bentley has hosted the Northern Group of Motoring Writers for a tour of its facilities in Crewe, along with a chance to drive some of its vehicles, ahead of a Group Ordinary General Meeting.
As one of the handful of manufacturers either headquartered, or operating major manufacturing centres, in our region, Bentley is a brand that’s close to the NGMW’s collective hearts — indeed one of our longest-servine members, Malcolm Bobbitt, has quite literally written the book on Bentley!
That makes a trip to the company’s head office, recently certified as the only carbon-neutral luxury vehicle manufacturing facility in the UK, a rather special experience.
With 18 members in attendance, the Group would take the activities in turns. One set would head out onto the local roads for a two-hour loop in the Bentayga, Bentayga Hybrid, Bentayga Speed, Continental GT, and Mulsanne Speed, while the other toured the factory itself.
That would include the leather shop — with leather sourced from Scandinavia to reduce the impact of barbed wire fences on hide quality — and the veneer storage room. This contains nearly three-quarters of a million pounds’ worth of wood, making for a rather distinct aroma!
You can read Group Chairman Andy Harris’s impressions of the event in the Yorkshire Times, and the tour is open to the public for £30.
Once all the fun was out of the way, the assembled members held an OGM, discussing events towards the end of 2019 and the plan ahead for 2020. With the successes of the 2019 Car of the Year driving day and the pre-SMMT Test Day North “barbecue”, there was plenty to plan.