The coach-building division of Bentley is ushering into a new era and the Barcalar is in driving it. The division says it’s the world’s oldest coachbuilder and it started around five centuries ago by building saddles. Bentley and the Mulliner were first linked in 1923 but their relationship became stronger in 1952 and afterward. The Mulliner manufactured the R-type Continental and in 1959 it became a part of the company.
Currently, the division has three arms in the company. The classics arm is responsible to recreate icons like the blower and collections is responsible to create products based on customers’ specified personalization options. The third arm, coachbuilt is responsible to manufacture different versions of series production vehicles, and the car in the discussion today the Barcalar is a part of that.
Mulliner doesn’t see itself as just a less-valued part of the company and it intends to be more valuable and drive development at the company. The Project leader of the division, Omar Sheikh said the advantage we have with this division is that we can start and complete a project quickly and bring innovations and technology and try or implement them, sooner than other divisions.
If our experiments are successful, those Innovations and technologies can be used in the company’s future cars. If we identify a technology that would be implemented in 3 or 5 years, we implement it on a smaller scale, where the unit cost would be higher because of low production volume but it gives us a great opportunity to test the feature on coachbuilding and see how valuable they are.
In the auto world, sustainability is one of the most discussed topics today and things are no different for Bentley. He said as we are seeing an improvement in the interest of younger customers with our brand, sustainability is more important than ever before. So this makes us wonder what the future looks like for the coachbuilding division. They want to focus more on performance, but so far we have not been able to move further with it. He said if we were to work on performance and offer more power, it will be quite hard and very expensive as well, due to certifications and emissions.