Bentley - the UK-based luxury brand owned by Volkswagen Group - has confirmed that it will build the luxurious four-seater convertible Azure at the home facility in Crewe, Cheshire. The company says that the plant will 'continues to adopt a more flexible approach to luxury car manufacture'.

The latest new model joins the Bentley line-up next spring and will become the flagship car of the Bentley range.

The realignment of production at Crewe includes further refinement of the assembly process for the Arnage, the company says. A purpose-built facility brings together the latest technology with 'unprecedented levels of craftsmanship for both the new Bentley Azure and its stablemate, the Arnage'.

The Azure body-in-white facility blends traditional hand-built skills with robotic technology, required to ensure consistent build quality, Bentley says. The dedicated assembly area enables around 6,500 intricate spot welds to be carried out by hand, with robotics being used to accurately locate and clinch all the closure panels.

Additionally, the finishing processes have been relocated away from the main assembly halls and into the self-contained Mulliner department, where the dedicated workforce specialise in bespoke vehicle production.

The production version of the car will be unveiled next week at the International Automobile Show in Frankfurt.

The dedicated Crewe-based Bentley engineering team worked closely with the co-located manufacturing team in planning every aspect of production from body-in-white, paint, hood fit and ultimately, assembly of the car itself. In addition, the body shell, engine and chassis will all originate in Crewe.

"The plant has a long heritage of producing high quality, luxurious cars and is perfectly placed to produce this new pinnacle model, both in terms of the sophisticated facilities and the experience and skill of this workforce," said Member of the Board for Manufacturing at Bentley, Doug Dickson. "The expertise of the Crewe team here in delivering dream cars is unparalleled."

The exclusivity of the car means that the total anticipated production of a few hundred units is largely already pre-ordered, Bentley says.

UK: Bentley gives production 'go' to Arnage convertible:

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