Bentley: Luxury carmaker to cut ‘up to 1,000’ jobs

Bentley car Image copyright Getty Images

Luxury carmaker Bentley is to cut 1,000 jobs in the UK, the BBC understands.

The firm, which makes most of its cars in Crewe, is expected to offer workers the chance to take voluntary redundancy.

Bentley has been struggling with a wider car industry downturn caused by coronavirus, but it is understood this is not the only reason for the cuts.

The firm, 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 firm’s workers had been furloughed due to the lockdown while another quarter were working from home.

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 11,006 cars in 2019. However, it has struggled to be profitable and only recently completed a turnaround plan.

Now it appears the sharp fall in demand for new cars caused by coronavirus has hit the brand. It 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 Monday it will 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, announced 500 redundancies on Thursday, a week after naming a new chief executive.

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