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Aston Martin & Bentley Motors Announce Job Losses of Up to 1,5000

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Aston Martin and Bentley Motors have both recently announced job cuts as part of cost-saving measures to cope with COVID-19 induced losses and company restructures.
Aston Martin’s new DBX SUV production facility in St Athan, Wales. Credit: Aston Martin

In a recent announcement from Aston Martin, the British auto manufacturer is set to cut up to 500 job roles from its 2600 workforce in a bid to save £38 million as part of its cost-saving strategies further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Likewise, Crewe based Bentley Motors has also announced a “voluntary release program” of up to 1000 job roles as part of their pre-planned “Beyond100” program which has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aston Martin Job Cuts

Due to lower than expected production volume it was revealed, “Aston Martin will shortly launch a consultation process on proposals to reduce employee numbers by up to 500, reflecting lower than originally planned production volumes and improved productivity across the business.”

“Lower than planned production volumes” of certain models contributing to the cuts. Credit: Aston Martin

With a change of guard occurring on August 1 in the form of Aston Martin’s new CEO, former Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers, the 107 year old British manufacturer will undertake a “fundamental reset, which includes a planned reduction in front-engined sports car production to rebalance supply to demand” to turn the company around which has already experienced a pre-tax loss of £118.9m in the first quarter of 2020.

The £38m savings will consist of £10m in previous savings announced earlier this year, £10m in operational cost savings, a planned £8m reduction in manufacturing costs and a further £10m reduction in capital expenditure.

“Aston Martin continues to take decisive action in other areas to reduce cost and remove non-critical expenditure from the business at every level, including in areas such as contractor numbers, site footprint, marketing and travel.”

By all accounts, it appears Aston Martin will hold back on the production of models like the Vantage and DB11 and instead focus on the company’s first SUV, the DBBX which reportedly has a strong order book for the expected summer deliveries.

Aston Martin DBX SUV
The anticipated Aston Martin DBX SUV will see deliveries begin later this year. Credit: Aston Martin

With the DBX SUV being produced at the new plant in St Athan, Wales, it is likely job losses will affect the Gaydon-based production plant first which is currently producing the Vantage and DB11 models and employs approx. 1600 staff.

“The measures announced today will right-size the organizational structure and bring the cost base into line with reduced sports car production levels, consistent with restoring profitability.”

Bentley Job Cuts

In the same week, British based Bentley Motors likewise announced plans to cut up to 1,000 jobs which have been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently employing 4,2000 staff at their Crewe based operations, the job losses would account for almost a quarter of their workforce mirroring the job losses announced last month by McLaren.

Bentley Motors Factory
The Bentley production plant in full swing. Credit: Bentley Motors

Bentley noted they had already been planning a restructure as part of a strategic 100 year plan coined “Beyond100” that would see Bentley “move towards becoming the world’s benchmark luxury car business, a leader in sustainable luxury mobility, financially resilient and recession-proof.”

The Beyond100 plan was to be announced in March however had been put off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the recent statement released by Bentley regarding the job losses, the company states, “While Bentley’s direction and goals remain as defined in March, the significant effects on the short-term financial outlook for the company means that Bentley, with deepest regret, has today informed its 4,200 colleagues of a program to significantly reduce the size of the organisation through a voluntary release program.

Bentley Motors suspends production from 20th March 2020
Aerial view of Bentley’s Crewe based production facility. Credit: Bentley Motors

The statement continued saying “Steps had already been taken to cut or delay unnecessary spend without impacting future product plans. Recruitment was stopped, contractors were released across all business areas, pay was frozen and up to 66 per cent of colleagues at peak were placed on furlough. One further clear conclusion was that an urgent reduction in the workforce was unfortunately required. As a result, the company has launched a voluntary release program aimed at achieving this in the most caring and socially responsible way.

Letters have been issued to all colleagues outlining the personal financial terms of the offer based on length of service, age and salary. To make career transitions easier, Bentley is also providing financial support towards career guidance for all colleagues that choose to pursue a new professional direction. In the interest of protecting Bentley through this immediate crisis, avoiding any further reductions in colleague numbers, and securing the company’s future, Bentley is looking for as many as 1,000 colleagues to accept these terms.”

“However, Bentley cannot rule out future compulsory redundancies.”

Adrian Hallmark, chairman and chief executive officer of Bentley Motors, also stressed, “Losing colleagues is not something we are treating lightly but this is a necessary step that we have to take to safeguard the jobs of the vast majority who will remain, and deliver a sustainable business model for the future through our Beyond100 strategy. The voluntary release program at least allows the colleagues to make the personal choice and leave us with the most appealing and supportive offer possible within the circumstances.”

“COVID-19 has not been the cause of this measure but a hastener.”

Bentley Mulliner Continental GT Convertible Equestrian Edition outside castle
Bentley is looking to move forward strongly with their Beyond100 strategy. Credit: Bentley Motors

Owned by the Volkswagen Group, Bentley resumed production in early May following the COVID-19 induced closures and at the time had an 8 month order list to fill.

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McLaren Elva Production Reduced to 149 Models

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McLaren has revealed that the Ultimate Series Elva production will be reduced to 149 models down from the original 399 vehicles.
McLaren Elva Spec Explore Magma
McLaren Elva in “Explore Magma”. Credit: McLaren Automotive

McLaren Elva owners worldwide are currently working with McLaren Special Operations (MSO) to determine their specifications and now with McLaren revealing the total numbers produced will be reduced from the original production run of 399 vehicles run down to 149 models, those owners will be glad to know they’ve already secured their build slot.

In the aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic induced production shutdowns and compromised availability of parts, McLaren made the call to reduce the overall number of Elva’s to protect clients investment of the $1.7 million car, making it one of the most exclusive McLaren’s ever produced, second only to the Speedtail.

New clients and owners who already have a build-slot will continue to work with MSO Bespoke Liason Managers on a 1:1 basis and be guided through the design process via the new McLaren Advanced Visualiser (MAV), a state-of-the-art virtual reality visualizer created by McLaren and built on software originally purposed for gaming design.

McLaren Elva Specs
McLaren Elva Explore “Electrify”

Thanks to the level of technology offered by MAV, clients can explore the car in detail and “open and close” the doors in virtual reality, offering the chance to “get inside” the vehicle and view different interior options, including seat colors, material finishes and stitching colors.

As part of the MAV program, McLaren has revealed two new Elva design concepts: Timeless and Explore, which include a range of visual themes.

McLaren Elva Spec Timeless Artisan
McLaren Elva in “Timeless Artisan”. Credit: McLaren Automotive

“The themes in Explore evoke the spirit of adventure expressed by Elva ownership; Magma, for example, suggests the power of a molten lava in a Satin Azores and Satin Memphis Red Velocity blend of exterior colours, a look that continues inside with Caviar Black Ultrafabrics to create an unapologetically dramatic appearance.

McLaren Elva Spec Timeless Purity
McLaren Elva in Timeless Purity. Credit: McLaren Automotive

Timeless, meanwhile, focuses on the sense of history encapsulated in the Elva’s design, balanced by a fascination with the future. The laid-back Urbane combination of Liquid Alloy Gloss exterior paint and Cortado Tan Enhanced Full Aniline leather interior is one of the themes, visually suggesting elegance coupled with relentless performance.”

“The Explore and Timeless concepts offer a contemporary aesthetic contrasting the heritage M1A Elva themes previously devised for our latest Ultimate Series car. “Both of these new concepts are tailored to showcase the Elva’s incredible form, be it Timeless’ classic elegance or Explore’s technical finishes. Both capture our core design principle of ‘everything for a reason,” said Robert Melville, Design Director McLaren Automotive

McLaren Elva Spec Timeless Lux
McLaren Elva in “Timeless Lux”. Credit: McLaren Automotive

Elva customers can still choose from several iconic McLaren racing livery options, including the McLaren Special Operations (MSO) designed M1A – a tribute to the McLaren racing car that competed in the 1964 Canadian Sports Car Grand Prix with its Magnesium Silver racing stripe and Accent Red pinstripe and number 4 racing number.

McLaren Elva Spec M1A
McLaren Elva in historic inspired livery “M1A”. Credit: McLaren Automotive

Another historic tribute livery is the M6A inspired by the McLaren Can-AM racer of 1967, which has been spec’d in Anniversary Orange with a Dove Grey stripe and race car details.

McLaren Elva Spec M6A
McLaren Elva in historic inspired livery “M6A”. Credit: McLaren Automotive

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Five Unique McLaren Senna GTR LM’s Inspired by 24 Hours of Le Mans

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McLaren Special Operations has revealed five unique Senna GTR LM models inspired by the McLaren F1 GTR’s that ruled the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Five unique McLaren Senna GTR LM cars by MSO. Credit: McLaren Automotive
Five unique McLaren Senna GTR LM cars by MSO. Credit: McLaren Automotive

McLaren’s bespoke division, the McLaren Special Operations (MSO) have revealed five special customer commissioned McLaren Senna GTR LM models inspired by the five McLaren F1 GTR’s that took out 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 13th position at the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans. An even more astounding feat considering this was the first year McLaren had ever raced at Le Mans, and it was only three years after the creation of the F1.

The McLaren Senna GTR LM "The Ueno Clinic Car". Credit: McLaren Automotive
The McLaren Senna GTR LM “The Ueno Clinic Car”. Credit: McLaren Automotive

“The incredible cars of the McLaren Senna GTR LM collection are an exceptionally fitting way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our Le Mans victory in 1995,’” commented Mike Flewitt, CEO of McLaren Automotive, when sharing on the new models. “That achievement is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest endurance racing performances of all time, but for McLaren its importance was even greater because it demonstrated an immediate and undeniable connection between the racing DNA of our brand and the start of our road car journey.”

Based on the McLaren Senna GTR, which is McLaren’s fastest-lapping car outside of McLaren’s Formula 1 vehicles, the new GTR LM models have been given an upgraded powertrain producing 845PS and 800Nm from a recalibrated 4.0 liter twin-turbo V8 engine (offering 20PS more than the regular Senna GTR).

McLaren Senna GTR LM racing harness interior. Credit: McLaren Automotive
McLaren Senna GTR LM racing harness interior. Credit: McLaren Automotive

Each of the five special editions has received a unique hand-painted livery that pays tribute to its matching 1995 McLaren Le Mans car, along with bespoke features like the LM steering wheel with anodized gold gear shift paddles and control buttons, six-point fitted racing harnesses, gold-colored brake calipers and suspension wishbones and distinctive five-spoke OZ racing wheels reminiscent of the original F1 GTR.

“We wanted to make a major statement with this collection,’” explained Ansar Ali, Managing Director of McLaren Special Operations. “In creating these incredible cars to the requirements of some of our most discerning customers, we are showcasing the astonishing array of talent we have within MSO – a team that can visualise, design, produce and deliver products that really do take your breath away.

“The McLaren Senna GTR LM project has been a labour of love for nearly two years; we have gone to great lengths not only to perfect the engineering aspects of the cars, but also to gain co-operation from brand holders and partners to maximise authenticity.”

McLaren Senna GTR LM badging. Credit: McLaren Automotive
McLaren Senna GTR LM badging. Credit: McLaren Automotive

The Le Mans editions also feature a dedicated “1 of 1” nameplate with its VIN and the provenance details of its 1995 Le Mans F1 GTR “twin,” including the date of the race, the names of the three race drivers in that car, and the position in which they finished.

A bonus to owning one of the five limited editions is that each owner will be offered the opportunity to participate in a unique Le Mans circuit driving experience at the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans event (originally scheduled for 2020 now rescheduled due to COVID-19 restrictions). Owners will be able to drive their own GTR LM’s around the circuit on the morning of the race accompanied by the original F1 GTRs that competed in 1995.

McLaren Senna GTR LM 825/1 “The Ueno Clinic Car”

A tribute to the McLaren F1/01R, the winner of the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans and often referred to as “The Ueno Clinic Car.”

McLaren Senna GTR LM 825/1 "The Ueno Clinic Car" by MSO. Credit: McLaren Automotive
McLaren Senna GTR LM 825/1 “The Ueno Clinic Car” by MSO. Credit: McLaren Automotive

The charcoal grey livery with Ueno Clinic branding was relatively unknown at the time but was thrust into the limelight after their win. The McLaren Special Operations team has recreated the same 1995 livery and created a new paint tone, “Ueno Grey,” especially for it.

Other details of the original car have faithfully been recreated, including the cars unique driving lamps and the OZ Racing wheels.

Created with special paint tone "Ueno Grey"by MSO. Credit: McLaren Automotive
Created with special paint tone “Ueno Grey”by MSO. Credit: McLaren Automotive

The car bearing race number 59 was driven in 1995 by two-time Le Mans winner Yannick Dalmas, Japanese veteran Masanori Sekiya and former Formula One driver, JJ Lehto.

McLaren Senna GTR LM 825/6 “The Harrods Car”

A tribute to the McLaren F1/06R that finished 3rd in the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans and often referred to as “The Harrods Car.”

McLaren Senna GTR LM "The Harrods Car" by MSO. Credit: McLaren Automotive
McLaren Senna GTR LM “The Harrods Car” by MSO. Credit: McLaren Automotive

The bright yellow livery with contrasting green stripe was courtesy of the partnership with the London department store Harrods. While a 2015 McLaren P1 GTR was also finished in the same livery style, this is the first time the Harrods logo has appeared on a McLaren in 25 years. To achieve the same finish, the McLaren Special Operations went with Solar Yellow for the body and Heritage Green for the stripe and matching pinstripe detailing.

Solar Yellow and Heritage Green with matching pinstripe. Credit: McLaren Automotive
Solar Yellow and Heritage Green with matching pinstripe. Credit: McLaren Automotive

Driven by British drivers Andy Wallace, Derek Bell, and Justin Bell, the 1995 Harrods Car (51) was a contender for 1st place when it suffered a transmission fault two hours from the flag that saw Wallace nurse the car across the finish line to place third.

Inspired by the 1995 F1 GTR "Harrods Car". Credit: McLaren Automotive
Inspired by the 1995 F1 GTR “Harrods Car”. Credit: McLaren Automotive
McLaren Senna GTR LM 825/2 “The Gulf Car”

A tribute to the McLaren F1/02R that finished 4th and is often referred to as “The Gulf Car.”

Mclaren Senna GTR LM 825 Gulf Car Front Side View
The McLaren Senna GTR LM “Gulf Car”. Credit: McLaren Automotive

Driven by Brazilian Maurizio Sandro Sala and Brits Mark Blundell and Ray Bellm, Car 24 McLaren F1 GTR completed 291 rain-lashed laps at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1995, eventually finishing in fourth place.

Reimagined by the McLaren Special Operations team. Credit: McLaren Automotive
Reimagined by the McLaren Special Operations team. Credit: McLaren Automotive

For this design, the McLaren Special Operations team has reimagined the 1995 Gulf Racing livery and used Gulf 95 Blue and Gulf 95 Orange with pinstripes to create a modern take on the original.

Oz Racing wheels have been used to finish the look in vivid orange and sills and roof strip in Gulf 95 silver and the Gulf Oil logo on the bonnet and doors.

Gulf Racing livery with Gulf 95 Blue and Gulf 95 Orange. Credit: McLaren Automotive
Gulf Racing livery with Gulf 95 Blue and Gulf 95 Orange. Credit: McLaren Automotive

Aryton Senna’s signature has also been emblazoned on the rear quarter of the bodywork.

Mclaren Senna GTR LM 825 Gulf Car Wheels
Five spoke OZ Racing wheels in Gulf 95 Orange. Credit: McLaren Automotive
McLaren Senna GTR LM 825/7 “The Jacadi Car”

A tribute to the McLaren F1/07R (Car 50) that finished in 5th place and often referred to as “The Jacadi Car.”

McLaren Senna GTR LM "The Jacadi Car" by MSO. Credit: McLaren Automotive
McLaren Senna GTR LM “The Jacadi Car” by MSO. Credit: McLaren Automotive

Driven by French-based customer team Giroix Racing (French drivers Fabien Giroix and Olivier Grouillard) and Swiss pilot Jean-Denis Deletraz, Car 50 was only a lap behind the “Gulf Car” in the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans when it finished 5th.

French themed livery in Le Mans Blue. Credit: McLaren Automotive
French themed livery in Le Mans Blue. Credit: McLaren Automotive

The McLaren Special Operations team has reimagined the original royal blue livery on the McLaren Senna GTR LM. The proudly French-themed livery sees a bright “Le Mans Blue” for the body while a metallic blue known as “Polaris” has been used for the complementing details along with authentic Elf logos of the French oil company.

Complete with authentic Elf logos. Credit: McLaren Automotive
Complete with authentic Elf logos. Credit: McLaren Automotive
McLaren Senna GTR LM 825/5 “The Cesar Car”

A tribute to the McLaren F1/05R (Car 42) that finished 13th and is often referred to as “The Cesar Car.”

McLaren Senna GTR LM "The Cesar Car". Credit: McLaren Automotive
McLaren Senna GTR LM “The Cesar Car”. Credit: McLaren Automotive

The matching McLaren Senna GTR LM has been given a modern reinterpretation of the livery and has been given design details like the pole position lap times, contemporary race trophies, and Le Mans branding cues.

Mclaren Senna GTR LM 825 Cesar Car Side View
Original livery by Cesar Baldaccini. Credit: McLaren Automotive

Run by French team Société BBA, Car 42 was driven by an all-French line-up of Jean-Luc Maury-Laribiere, Marc Sourd, and Hervé Poulin at the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans. Maury-Laribiere and Poulin were pioneers of ‘art cars’ and asked renowned artist Cesar Baldaccini to envisage a livery for the F1 GTR they would be racing at Le Mans.

An experienced endurance racer, Poulin’s fine collection of racing trophies became the inspiration for Cesar’s work on the McLaren.

Reimagined by the McLaren Special Operations. Credit: McLaren Automotive
Reimagined by the McLaren Special Operations. Credit: McLaren Automotive

All five limited editions have now been completed and will be delivered to owners in the United States, Europe, and the UK.

As with all bespoke commissions created by McLaren Special Operations, their value remains undisclosed unless the owners choose to share this detail.

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Bentley Continental GT Mulliner Is Latest Design Created by the Mulliner Team

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The new Bentley Continental GT Mulliner is the latest addition to the “Collections Portfolio” and the most luxurious Continental GT to date.
The new Bentley Continental GT Mulliner. Credit: Bentley Motors
The new Bentley Continental GT Mulliner. Credit: Bentley Motors

Earlier this year, Bentley’s Mulliner design team gave the Continental GT Convertible special bespoke treatment, and now they’ve turned their attention to the coupe version and created the Bentley Continental GT Mulliner.

Designed by Bentley's bespoke Mulliner design team
Designed by Bentley’s bespoke Mulliner design team. Credit: Bentley Motors

The latest addition to the bespoke “Collections portfolio,” the new Bentley Continental GT Mulliner features the “Double Diamond” matrix grille seen only on Mulliner versions along with matching Mulliner front fender vents, Mulliner stitching and detailing throughout the interior, and Mulliner Welcome Lamps beneath the doors.

The Continental GT Mulliner has also been given a new painted and polished Mulliner 22” wheel design and features Bentley’s iconic self-leveling “B” badges at the center.

New Mulliner 22" wheel design.
New Mulliner 22″ wheel design. Credit: Bentley Motors

The Mulliner Driving Specification has also been fitted as standard, with the interior cabin featuring Mulliner details throughout like the “Diamond in Diamond” quilting on the seats, doors trims, and rear quarter panels created with 712 individual stitches per diamond and 400,000 stitches across the entire cabin. A unique color split along with eight different three-color combinations by Mulliner is also offered to owners.

Bentley Continental GT Mulliner Interior Seating
The Mulliner Driving Specification comes as standard. Credit: Bentley Motors
Bentley Continental GT Mulliner Diamond Quilting
Iconic “diamond in diamond” Mulliner stitching option. Credit: Bentley Motors

Meanwhile, the seats are finished with embroidered Mulliner logos, and the floor mats are edged with micro-piping to match the rest of the interior theme.

The center console has also been dressed in a new diamond milled technical finish that uses precision machining to form a perfect pattern of facets, flanked either side by Grand Black walnut veneer with chrome overlays.

Center console with new diamond milled finish. Credit: Bentley Motors
Center console with new diamond milled finish. Credit: Bentley Motors

A Breitling clock makes an appearance sitting at the center of the console. Simultaneously, the passenger side fascia is finished with a silhouette of the car’s exterior profile and the Mulliner logo. The veneer flows into the doors, completed by a discreet Bentley ‘B’ motif.

Mulliner stitching on the interior seats is standard. Credit: Bentley Motors
Mulliner stitching on the interior seats is standard. Credit: Bentley Motors

If all of the extra Mulliner details are not enough, further personalization is available with 88 different colorized veneer finishes that can be matched to the interior or exterior of the car.

The Bentley Continental GT Mulliner is available in either Bentley’s iconic 6.0-liter W12 powertrain delivering 635 PS (626 bhp) or the smaller but just as agile 4.0-liter V8 offering 550 PS (542 bhp).

Bentley Continental GT Mulliner Dashboard
Bentley Continental GT Mulliner dashboard detailing. Credit: Bentley Motors

Orders for both coupe and convertible versions of the Bentley Continental GT Mulliner will be taken from October 2020, with first deliveries early next year.

Front fender vents with Mulliner double diamond design. Credit: Bentley Motors
Front fender vents with Mulliner double diamond design. Credit: Bentley Motors

As an added extra, the new Continental GT Mulliner customers will receive the keys to their car in a bespoke, Mulliner-branded, and handcrafted presentation box containing individual leather pouches matching the three-color interior configuration of their vehicle.

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