Volkswagen executives are expected to reveal spending plans for the UK factory that builds Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars at a Rolls-Royce dealer meeting in late October.
VW plans to build an all-new small Bentley at the Crewe factory. The new car is expected to cost between £80,000-£90,000 ($128,000-$144,000). It will be sold alongside the four-door Arnage and two-door Continental models.
After 2002, Bentley and Rolls-Royce brands will separate, with Rolls moving to BMW ownership. BMW is developing new Rolls-Royce models now, which it will manufacture in a new factory somewhere in England.
BMW has said that the Crewe plant will continue to build the Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph bodies, with final assembly moving to the new Rolls factory. However, BMW may decide to leave assembly in Crewe.
'I have no reason whatsoever to reject the VW offer right away to continue the production of the Silver Seraph (at Crewe) beyond 2002,' said BMW chairman Bernd Pischetsrieder. 'We have ample time to see how the plant develops and to make a decision in two or three years.'