Luxury carmaker Bentley said last week that it plans to lay off up to 1,000 workers, nearly a quarter of its 4,200-strong workforce. The Volkswagen-owned British company said it was offering voluntary redundancy terms but could not rule out compulsory redundancies.

“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,” said chairman and CEO Adrian Hallmark, who added that Covid-19 “has not been the cause of this measure but a hastener.”

Bentley’s main facility in Crewe reopened on May 11, seven weeks after it was closed due to the coronavirus, making it one of the first carmakers to resume production in the UK. According to Reuters, the 100-year-old firm faces hundreds of millions of pounds of deferred or lost revenue from the closure and reduced output.

According to the newswire’s report, the downsizing is part of Bentley’s “Beyond100” strategy that will see Crewe accelerate the development of electrified models. The maker of the Continental GT, Flying Spur and Bentayga SUV is targeting a hybrid option for every model it sells by 2023, and a first fully electric model to be launched in 2026.

Earlier this month, Bentley produced its final 6.75 litre V8 engine, marking the end of a 61-year run for the longstanding L-Series motor. The venerable V8 went into a Mulsanne 6.75 by Mulliner, a 30-unit limited edition that was unveiled in January.