Luxury automaker Bentley is extending its plant shutdown by three weeks and will start gradually resuming from May 11, as coronavirus lockdown measures remain in place in the United Kingdom.
The UK has the fifth highest official death toll from COVID-19 coronavirus in the world and its health minister has stated it is too early to ease the most stringent restrictions on people’s movements in the country.
The Volkswagen-owned brand, which constructs around 11,000 luxury models at its northern English Crewe factory, will start a ramp-up with limited staffing from May 11 with entire output due to recommence on May 18.
“As the threat persists, so must we with the robust safety measures put in place to make sure we protect as many people as we possibly can, now and when we return to full operations,” stated boss Adrian Hallmark.
The announcement comes a day after luxury automaker Aston Martin stated it would delay restarting its two production sites by a week.
Some automakers plan to restart certain operations on the continent next week but in Britain, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), the biggest automaker of the UK, has yet to set a reopening date whilst Nissan’s production is postponed “throughout April.”
Several new models are due out of British auto factories during the next 12 months, including Aston Martin’s first 4×4, important to a turnaround plan, and Nissan’s new Qashqai sport utility vehicle.
About 108,692 people in the UK have been confirmed as being infected with the coronavirus. The virus has killed 14,576 people in the country.