Bentley to cut 1,000 jobs
Bentley Motors has confirmed it wants up to 1,000 people to take up its offer of voluntary redundancy as it seeks to slash its Crewe workforce by a quarter.
It will bring the total of automotive job cuts announced this week to 3,000 after Lookers and Aston Martin revealed plans to significantly reduce their workforces.
The lockdown has had a huge impact on car sales. Figures from industry body SMMT showed an 89% drop in new car sales last month and there are fears that a recession will affect consumer demand in the months ahead.
However Bentley, its owner Volkswagen, and car manufacturers in general have been facing challenges before the emergence of Covid-19.
At the start of 2019 comments from Volkswagen Group’s main shareholders, the Piech and Porsche families, said the company was only prepared to support the loss-making car manufacturer for “one to two years”. The company has also previously warned that a no-deal Brexit would limit its ability to invest.
The UK car industry has also faced threats from Brexit, the slowdown in demand from China and the problems with diesel, alongside long-term concerns of the impact of driverless cars and more stringent air pollution measures such as clean air zones in city centres.
In a statement issued on Friday morning, the company said: “In the interest of protecting Bentley through this immediate crisis, avoiding any further reductions in colleague numbers, and securing the company’s future, Bentley is looking for as many as 1,000 colleagues to accept these terms. However, Bentley cannot rule out future compulsory redundancies.”
Bentley is also “providing financial support towards career guidance for all colleagues that choose to pursue a new professional direction”.