Bentley Motors to cut 220 jobs

February 11th, 2009 - 2:46 pm ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi  

BentleyOn Tuesday Bentley Motors Ltd announced that it would cut down 220 jobs and reduce workers salaries by 10 per cent as the luxury automaker struggles to deal with plummeting demand. The top-end car manufacturer already axed 230 jobs in December.

Last month the company, a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, said it would stop production at its plant in the central English city of Cheshire for seven weeks beginning in March to deal with the collapse in the auto market.

Car sales have crashed down as Britain has fallen deeper into recession, and the future of the country’s auto sector is in doubt.

Companies, such as Jaguar Land Rover, have asked for government help to survive. Suppliers have also suffered. The British car parts maker Wagon PLC filed for a form of bankruptcy in December.

In January, figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed vehicle production in Britain slumped by nearly half in December from the same month the year before. Bentley’s sales have fallen by almost a quarter from just over 10,000 vehicles sold in December 2007 to about 7,600 sold in December of last year.

Bentleys retails for anything between 125,000 and 250,000 pounds each in the UK.

Bentley said it hoped its workers could be persuaded to leave voluntarily, but would not rule out forced redundancies. It said salary reductions for remaining workers would also affect the company’s chief executive, Franz-Josef Paefgen.

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