Bentley to cut up to a quarter of its workforce

Luxury brand will offer workers voluntary redundancy; official confirmation due later today

Luxury car firm Bentley is set to announce that it will cut up to 1000 jobs in the UK, around a quarter of its workforce, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

It is understood that staff consultation on the cuts will begin shortly, with workers at the Crewe factory set to be offered voluntary redundancy in the first case. The job cuts, which is expected to be part of a wider restructuring programme, comes as the firm is facing a decline in sales due to Covid-19 lockdowns. A formal announcement is expected later today (Friday 5th June) in the UK.

Bentley, which is owned by the Volkswagen Group, furloughed a quarter of its employees during the coronavirus lockdown, with another quarter working from home.

Production restarted production on May 11, but with social distancing measures in place and demand still limited, it has been around half of the usual level.

Bentley undertook a turnaround plan to ensure profitability during 2019, its centenary year. Global sales increased by 5% to 11,000 cars. But it is still facing heavy investment in new technology and equipment to produce electric cars in the future.

Bentley is the latest premium British firm to make significant job cuts following the coronavirus crisis. McLaren and Aston Martin have also announced major layoffs.

Lawrence Allan

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