Bentley: Luxury carmaker to cut up to 1,000 jobs
Luxury carmaker Bentley is to cut 1,000 jobs in the UK, about a quarter of its workforce.
The company, which makes its cars in Crewe, is expected to offer workers the chance to take voluntary redundancy.
The move comes as the car industry faces a sharp drop in sales due to coronavirus. Bentley has also struggled to be profitable in recent years.
Bentley, which is owned by Volkswagen, declined to comment but is expected to make a formal announcement on Friday.
Last month, boss Adrian Hallmark said that a quarter of the company’s workers had been furloughed due to the lockdown while another quarter were working from home.
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As first reported by ITV, the carmaker has since restarted production at its Crewe factory, but with only around half the usual number of staff.
Bentley, which was founded in the UK in 1919, increased its worldwide sales by 5% to 11,000 cars in 2019 but has struggled to be profitable in recent years.
It completed a turnaround plan last year but now appears to have been hit by the sharp fall in demand for new cars caused by coronavirus.
This has seen car manufacturers, suppliers and showrooms closed for weeks, with consumers holding off on big-ticket purchases.
The SMMT trade body said only 20,000 new cars were registered in the UK last month – down 89% year-on-year – the worst May performance since 1952.
Car dealership Lookers announced on Thursday it would cut up to 1,500 jobs with the closure of more showrooms in the UK.
And Aston Martin, the luxury British carmaker famed for kitting out James Bond, also announced 500 redundancies on Thursday, a week after naming a new chief executive.