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Bentley Implements New Hygiene Measures, Social Distancing Norms As It Aims to Restart Production Post Lockdown

Bentley Logo (Reuters)

Bentley Logo (Reuters)

Bentley is implementing 250 measures, including temperature checks and one-way systems, leaving a gap between each vehicle on the production line.

Bentley will make wearing face masks compulsory at its British car factory and has introduced a two-metre distance between workers which will result in output halving over the first couple of weeks of production, its boss told Reuters.

The Volkswagen-owned brand's Crewe site in north-western England is due to reopen on May 11, seven weeks since it shut due to the coronavirus outbreak, making it one of the first automakers to resume production in Britain.

The company is implementing around 250 additional measures, including temperature checks and one-way systems, alongside leaving a gap between each vehicle on the production line to maintain a safer distance, leading to an initial 50 per cent cut in output.

"On the line, (there will be) massive change in the first few weeks," Chief Executive Adrian Hallmark told Reuters. "We think it will take us almost into summer to get back to anything like full production as long as everything stays stable until then."

In China, which accounted for just under a fifth of sales last year, Hallmark said there had been a rebound in demand this month. "In the second week of April we took more orders than the month of January or February," he said. "The question is will that continue, will there be a second wave but more importantly, will the European and US markets recover as fast as the China market has?"