“INFILTRATING” THE BENTLEY FACTORY WITH VIETNAMNET’S REPORTER
Here, we bring to our customers perfection, and in order for that to happen, customers must give us time.
“There has never been a Vietnamese here before” Mr. Robin Peel – Bentley’s Marketing and Communication Manager told me as I set foot into Bentley’s cosy little room. This, for me, was an honor…
“Here you will get to witness our works of art” – Mr. Robin Peel started the introduction as he led us through Bentley’s factory security gate. The scene inside wowed us as long lines of shiny Bentleys are being meticulously taken care of.
“We start where others stop”, the sentence that inspires every worker here at the Bentley factory.
Here, Bentley did not build cars, but they offered their customers the passion, creativity cultivated by their wisdom and love. That was why the Bentley builders in the Crewe factory in Northern England were often referred to as “artists”.
Despite having been to many famous car brands’ factories across the globe, but at Crewe, we were mesmerized and excited by knowing the stages to build the world-famous Bentleys.
Bentley’s seat leather alone is a story. The leather used in the seats, steering wheel, shifting rod and interior are chosen specifically from a breed of bull raised in Southern Germany and the Scandinavian. Only the bull bred in these areas can suffice Bentley’s high standard, thanks to the cool climate that enable the bulls to live healthy and pest-free. Bentley would never accept low-quality leather on their cars. Each Bentley would cost a large number of cow hide, for example the Continental GT would cost 10 – 11 cow hides; the Continental Flying Spur would require 13 – 14 hides; or the Mulsanne would require 16 – 17 hides. Only the leather in the bull’s back and leg areas are used, the rest are discarded… Each set of seats would have taken up to 70 hours of labor work, as every step is hand-made, except for the logo. Every steering wheel is also sewn by hand, with 540 stiches. To complete one steering wheel, the workers here would have needed 5 hours and 15 minutes.
Furthermore, customers could choose their favorite color, from the leather to the stiches, and Bentley would gladly oblige. They would also be allowed to visit the factory to witness the birth of their own car, which create a unique experience that only Bentley can offer. Bentley also aim to please their customers’ smallest of request. “She showed us her nail polish and purse, and requested that the car’s paint color would be the same as her nails, while the interior’s color would take after her purse” – Mr. Robin Peel told us one of the rather unique requests.
And to further solidify his point, we were taken to visit Bentley’s wood workshop, where they built wood panels for the car’s interior. Here was where Bentley customize the wood and texture to their customer’s liking, with the highest standard for the wood used. “It would take 5 weeks to complete every wooden detail of a single car” – Robin Peel said as he walked us through the workshop. In which, it took 3 weeks to dry out the wood in a specially-designed environment, and another 2 weeks to customize them to the customer’s preferences. Each wood block chosen by Bentley must have mirrored-texture, meaning the two sides having the exact same texture, with a separate line in between. Only 2 out of 10 cubic meters of wood were chosen, the other 8 were discarded. The wood work is monitored by experienced hands, to ensure that not even the slightest of flaw existed.
All of these things begged the question, is that how long would it take to complete a Bentley? Mr. Robin told us: “Here we offer absolute perfection to our customers, and to achieve that, they must give us their time”. And it is indeed that perfection needs time, but time does not guarantee perfection everywhere. And here in the peaceful town of Crewe, the time spent would guarantee the creation of the Bentley masterpieces.
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