Bentley is planning to cut 1,000 jobs as part of a comprehensive review into its cost and investment structure.
The Crewe-based luxury carmaker is looking for up to 1,000 voluntary redundancies and has sent letters to its 4,200 employees making them offers based on their length of service, age and salary. Financial support is also being offered towards career guidance for those who wish to change their career direction.
In a statement outlining the terms, Bentley made clear that it “cannot rule out future compulsory redundancies”.
The move is part of the Bentley100 strategy, which is set to “redefine” the century-old company for the next 100 years. The plans were due to be announced in March, but were pushed back as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Adrian Hallmark, chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors, said that COVID-19 was not the cause of the job cuts, but acted as a “hastener” due to a considerable forecast reduction in future revenues.
The firm says steps have already been taken to cut or delay any unnecessary spending within the business, while emphasising that future product plans have not been affected. Recruitment and pay rises, though, have been frozen, contractors have been released across the company and 66 per cent of colleagues were placed on furlough at the peak of lockdown.
Hallmark said: “Losing colleagues is not something we are treating lightly but this is a necessary step that we have to take to safeguard the jobs of the vast majority who will remain, and deliver a sustainable business model for the future through our Beyond100 strategy.
“The voluntary release programme at least allows the colleagues to make the personal choice and leave us with the most appealing and supportive offer possible within the circumstances.”
He added: “It is vital, even more so now with what is going on around us, that we look to the long-term future of Bentley. This means fundamentally redefining our company so we respond immediately to protect the business through this crisis, continue to lead our sector by reinventing the company and look to establish ourselves as the leader in sustainable luxury mobility for the next 100 years.”
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