Bentley said in a statement Friday that it plans to cut 1,000 jobs in the United Kingdom, or about a quarter of its workforce. The company, which was founded 100 years ago and is owned by Volkswagen, said the arrival of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus meant that an “urgent reduction in the workforce” was needed.
The carmaker said it had offered voluntary separation packages to workers, but could not rule out future compulsory redundancies. “Covid-19 has not been the cause of this measure but a hastener,” said CEO Adrian Hallmark.
Bentley had already stopped recruiting new employees, released its contractors and frozen worker pay. Nearly 70 percent of its employees were placed on a UK government furlough scheme at the peak of the pandemic.
The news came one day after Aston Martin announced plans to eliminate 500 jobs because of slumping sales. The carmaker, known as the preferred ride of fictional spy James Bond, is also changing its CEO, hiring Tobias Moers away from Mercedes-AMG last month.
Aston Martins stock has collapsed following an IPO in October 2018. It reported an operating loss of £76.7 million ($94.4 million) in the first quarter of this year, compared with a loss of £3.2 million ($3.9 million) in the same period last year.
Formula One team owner McLaren said in a statement on May 26 that it was shedding 1,200 jobs, or more than a quarter of its 4,000-strong workforce. It said the cancellation of racing events, the closure of production facilities and showrooms around the world and a reduced demand for technology were all contributing factors.
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