Production has now resumed at luxury car-maker Bentley Motors.
More than 1,700 employees returned to work at the company’s Crewe headquarters this week following the implementation of 250 new safety and hygiene measures which have been introduced as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Staff returned to the Pyms Lane factory – which has been re-designed as part of the new measures – on Monday.
For the next few weeks, production will be running at approximately 50 per cent as the takt time of each car – the average start time from one manufacturing stage to the next – has doubled as a result of the changes.
In addition, each production cell now spreads over two stages rather than one, ensuring adequate distance between colleagues.
The company anticipates that the remaining manufacturing workers – more than 500 – will return by the middle of June, based on current assumptions and government guidance.
Adrian Hallmark, chairman and CEO at Bentley Motors, said: “Now is the right time for the business to come back stronger. We have introduced extensive new working measures to protect our colleagues, our families and our customers and we are confident, following the work of so many people, that being at Bentley will be as safe for our colleagues as being anywhere else.
“We have a strong order bank, around eight months of customer orders to manufacture, established parts supply routes and patient customers who are looking to receive their extraordinary cars as soon as possible.
“We will ramp up in a controlled, measured way to ensure we manage this continued demand, and look ahead and in spite of this interruption continue on our journey to lead sustainable luxury mobility in the future.”
New safety measures which have been introduced by Bentley include making face masks compulsory in all factory and office areas, a working from home policy for those who are able to, an enhanced cleaning routine, plastic partitions, distanced seating and the reconfiguration of entry and exit points.