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New car sales in the UK totalled 20,000 units in May after a harrowing tally of 4,000 a month before. No wonder then that UK based manufacturers are trimming workforces. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

London: Bentley Motors plans to slash as many as 1,000 jobs in the UK, about a quarter of its workforce, to cope with the fallout of the coronavirus crisis after years of weak profitability.

The luxury carmaker plans to reduce headcount through voluntary measures but "cannot rule out future compulsory redundancies," the Crewe-based manufacturer said in a statement.

Bentley, part of Volkswagen AG since 1998, has been struggling to improve earnings amid persistent uncertainty over Brexit. It reported 65 million euros ($74 million) in operating profit last year as global deliveries rose 5 per cent to 11,006 cars, after suffering a 288 million euro loss in 2018.

The workforce reduction echoes cutbacks announced by industry peers from Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings to Renault.