Bentley has relied on its own coronavirus track and trace system to uncover four asymptomatic staff members before the virus could be allowed to spread any further through its facilities.
Speaking ahead of the launch of the new Bentayga SUV, Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark explained that the firm’s factories had completely shut down at the start of the pandemic.
He said that staff have returned in reduced numbers to aid with social distancing – and that its own track and trace system was implemented to help finding members of staff with asymptomatic coronavirus.
He said: ‘We have so far found four people that have had no symptoms in the past few weeks with Covid-19, and none of them have been in contact with anybody.
‘All the social distancing has worked and we’ve now isolated them. We have our track and trace system too.
‘We never wanted to do any of this, but it’s been a fantastic example of innovation in a crisis and being able to manage effectively, and we’re very proud of the work the management team have done, but also the way the whole workforce have come together to support each other in this crisis time.’
At the start of June, Bentley announced it would be cutting 1,000 jobs under a ‘voluntary release programme’ and said it could not rule out future compulsory redundancies.
The Crewe-based company said significant effects on its short-term financial outlook means that with ‘deepest regret’ it had informed its 4,200 workers of a programme to significantly reduce the size of the organisation.
A statement said: ‘Bentley is in the middle of a major change programme started in 2018, driving for consistent financial resilience through rapid productivity improvements across the business.’
At today’s press conference there was no mention of the job losses as Hallmark unveiled the new car to a digital audience.
He added: ‘We have not changed our strategy to become the most sustainable luxury brand.
‘It has slowed things down because we shut the factory for seven weeks, and the financial impact in the short term is significant, but that won’t affect our long-term commitment to sustainability or the health of our staff.’
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