CAR makers across the globe, including supercar manufacturers like Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Bentley, have returned to vehicle production in recent days, albeit under extreme restrictions.
For Aston Martin Lagonda this week begins a carefully planned phased return to work for a number of its manufacturing staff as the business looks to prudently restart car making while adjusting to the new normal, and overcoming the threat of COVID-19.
Working closely with the trade unions, Aston Martin has developed detailed return-to-work protocols to be followed by employees returning to their jobs at the brand’s manufacturing facility in St Athan, Wales.
Production workers at the company’s global headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire will follow at a later date, as will office and support staff at Aston Martin Lagonda’s various other UK sites.
The meticulously planned procedures are aimed at protecting individual staff members, their colleagues, their families and the wider community. The social distancing, health and hygiene instructions cover every aspect of a staff member’s interaction.
Dozens of individual actions and instructions have been drawn up to support staff, with carefully calculated limits on employee numbers on site and working at any given time. Appropriate PPE is being provided to all returning staff too, including mandatory masks.
Temperature checks on arrival at work are also being introduced. Scott Ward, the director of manufacturing at the company’s St Athan site said the health of staff was absolutely paramount in the slow and careful return to car building.
“The arrangements we have put in place here for our phased return to work as we continue to build the brand’s first SUV – the highly anticipated DBX – are designed to support the health and safety of staff,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bentley Motors will introduce a set of around 250 comprehensive and wide-ranging new hygiene and social distancing measures under an employee program called ‘Come Back Stronger’.
The strategy allows the company to implement a safe, phased return to production at the company’s headquarters in Crewe, England, from 11 May. The plan also marks the biggest change to daily working life in the company’s 100 year history.
“The time is now right for Bentley to begin a gradual and controlled return to production, while ensuring our sites are the safest place any of us can be,” Bentley Motors CEO Adrian Hallmark said.
“Everybody will be able to play their part to ensure we can continue Bentley’s extraordinary journey into the future of luxury, sustainable mobility.”
Automobili Lamborghini also restarted production at its Sant-Agata Bolognese factory on Monday, under strict guidelines, negotiated between trade unions, the car maker and the Italian government.
“We are ready to restart with great energy, but also with strict protocols for safeguarding what is most precious to us: the safety of our people,” CEO Stefano Domenicali said.
“This priority is why we were the first Italian automotive company to close and continues to be our guiding principle for a well-reasoned and safe recovery, because we still have not won the battle against COVID-19.”