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Interview with Wolfgang Dürheimer: & # 34; Selling 15,000 cars per year with the SUV & # 34;

Beate Jeske
Interview with Wolfgang Dürheimer
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How did the name Bentley Bentayga for the SUV come about?

D ürheimer: The Bentayga is a rugged and widely visible mountain on Gran Canaria. We were also inspired by the name of our company founder W. O. Bentley. With the Bentayga, the modern British luxury of the Bentley brand can be experienced at almost any location.

The SUV is ready. Are you already working on the fifth series?

Dürheimer: The Bentayga will become the benchmark for a new vehicle class and give luxury a new dimension. Therefore, attention to detail and fine-tuning in the last phase is a decisive criterion on which we are currently fully concentrating.

Does your plug-in hybrid come with a six-cylinder Engine?

Dürheimer: It has not yet been decided whether it will be a six- or eight-cylinder.

But the six-cylinder would be the better choice for the Chinese market - don't you think so?

Dürheimer: For China would probably be more appropriate with the six-cylinder.

What about assistance systems and autonomous driving at Bentley?

Dürheimer: The Bentley customer usually has a chauffeur. If he wants to relax or work, he sits in the back and uses this special type of 'autonomous driving'. With the Bentley Bentayga, we will be making a new generation of driver assistance systems available to our customers.

How will a luxury brand like Bentley stand out from the other group products when it comes to infotainment?

Dürheimer: Bentley defines its infotainment offer under 'Luxury Connectivity'. Our customers certainly don't need a reminder that they have to go to the next service. He also rarely needs information about where he can refuel at a particularly low price, but rather wants to know where the attendant is still serving. He would like to book hotels from the car or hold a video conference.

During the discussion about a fifth series for the brandBentley was about a model between Mulsanne and Continental. The other variant was a smaller sports car. Have you already made a decision?

Dürheimer: We are currently working intensively on both ideas. This is a challenging segment in which we can create demand with an exceptional and market-driven offer.

By when will the decision be made?

Dürheimer: We are initially concentrating on the introduction of the Bentayga in 2016, practically the practical test. For any other models, the phases of the design models, the market analyzes and the pre-development with mobile prototypes start.

If you talk about the 2016 test, what quantity expectations do you have then at Bentley?

Dürheimer: In the past year 2014 we achieved a record result with 11,020 cars sold worldwide. Another record was set in America with almost 3,200 cars, in China we registered a growth of 22 percent. The Middle East is a very important market that will become even more important with the SUV. The most important luxury market in continental Europe is Germany. We assume that we will be able to sell around 15,000 vehicles worldwide with the SUV in the future. In 2016 we did not have the maximum number of SUVs available due to the limited ramp-up curve. Things really get going in 2017, when we will also have a second engine available for the SUV.

With Bentley, you are back in motorsport worldwide. What are you going to do?

Dürheimer: We drive two works cars and 15 sold cars on four continents in six different series.

You are also responsible for corporate motorsport. Which group brands will compete in Le Mans in 2016?

Dürheimer: The decision as to which relevant motorsport field is suitable for a brand is made by the brands themselves Porsche has deep roots in Le Mans. One can therefore assume that Porsche will be involved in Le Mans for the long term. Audi has last won 13 times in 16 years and is firmly established with the LMP1 series and Le Mans. So far, the two brands have been using different technical concepts, with diesel and gasoline. The decisive factor is that a group brand takes first place at Le Mans, so the precautions must be taken. Both brands see the opportunity to prove their reliability and sporting leadership in Le Mans.

The Volkswagen brand is now driving the third season in the World Rally Championship. Should be VWnot compete in America too, for example in the NASCAR racing series?

Dürheimer: Volkswagen has decided on a multi-year commitment in the WRC. We expect other competitors to join. It will be exciting. But we know that the North American motorsport scene is completely different from the rest of the world. Further activities for the VW brand are currently being investigated. With the Beetle, VW entered the new trend sport category, Global Rallycross, last year and achieved very good results. I assume that these activities will be expanded.

What's next at Bugatti?

Dürheimer: We will celebrate the 450th Veyron in Geneva and with the achievement of this milestone we will officially close a special chapter in Bugatti's recent history.

When will the production be finished?

Dürheimer: In the course of this year.

Then it would be ideal if a follow-up model came in 2016.

Dürheimer: Bugatti cannot handle the production cycles of other manufacturers be compared. Bugatti is unique. Our super sports cars are not only special in terms of vehicle technology and dynamics, each individual car is equally a work of art in itself. Many of our customers are art collectors and they know it takes time to create a work of art. We take this time.

The successor should again be a sports car. One speaks of an output of 1,500 hp.

Dürheimer: There are clear rules in the automotive industry: the successor must be better at everything than its predecessor . With the Veyron, we have developed the ultimate super sports car that has taken the automotive world into new dimensions. Now we're making the best even better.

The Galibier limousine has been put on hold, but is still haunted in your head. Why?

Dürheimer: Like any other car brand, we are grappling with the question of how we can shape the future of the brand. I could well imagine a four-door Bugatti. We are currently concentrating on the upcoming model.

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