Bentley begins phased return to production with up to 1,700 employees returning to work
Bentley has resumed production in a limited capacity at its headquarters in Crewe. More than 1,700 employees have returned to the factory – all of whom will now have to follow the company’s list of 250 hygiene and social distancing guidelines. They will be joined by the brand’s remaining 500 manufacturing workers by the middle of June.
Production is currently at 50 per cent capacity, to allow Bentley’s employees time to adjust to the factory’s new working policy – although the company will steadily ramp-up production over the coming months. The Bentayga and resurrected Mulsanne lines have restarted under this reduced output policy, with the Continental GT and Flying Spur following next week.
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As part of its new coronavirus-avoidance working policies, Bentley has redesigned its production line cells, to allow workers to maintain at least a two-metre distance between each other. Each manufacturing stage now takes twice as long, while the plant’s two-way supply lines and movement paths have been switched for one-way systems.
The site’s washrooms have been reconfigured to reduce the number of people being able to use them, while every employee is required to wear personal protective equipment at all times – which includes facemasks, gloves and goggles. Each worker will also be subject to regular temperature checks.
In areas where social distancing is harder to enforce – such as office spaces and catering facilities – there are new plastic partitions. Bentley has also implemented a more rigorous cleaning programme for the factory’s communal areas, in an effort to tackle the spread of the disease.
Adrian Hallmark, Chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors, commented on the factory’s reopening, stating: “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.”
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