Bentley suspends UK factory production over ‘accelerated’ COVID-19 outbreak

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Citing the “accelerated rate” of coronavirus infection in the UK, as well as the expected disruption in its supply chain, Bentley Motors has suspended for four weeks, beginning March 20, vehicle production at its factory and headquarters in Crewe, England.

Core business functions will continue throughout the shutdown, with some employees still reporting at the Crewe facility, following social distancing policies, or working remotely. Meetings will be held via video calls and all major events have been postponed or cancelled. Other measures include a ban on business trips.

Production at the factory will restart on April 20.

Bentley Motors chairman and CEO Adrian Hallmark said the disruption will “inevitably have an impact on deliveries,” but assured the company is minimizing its effects.

“The well-being of our colleagues is our number one priority, and although this was a difficult decision to take, and doesn’t change our strategic direction, it was necessary to protect them as best we can during these unprecedented times,” Hallmark said.

Bentley Motors closed 2019 with a 5% increase in vehicle deliveries, representing sales of 11,006 cars last year. In an earlier statement, Hallmark said “2019 was an extraordinary year for Bentley,” citing as factors the company’s introduction of numerous models and “strong demand in all regions.” Bentley Motors’ biggest market in 2019 were the Americas.

A March 17 disclosure issued by the VW Group, in which Bentley Motors belongs, showed Bentley Motors generated sales revenue of €2.1 billion in 2019, a 35.1% increase over the previous year’s result.

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