Aston Martin May Cut 600 Jobs

Aston Martin may cut as many as 600 jobs, the British sports car brand said today.

The possible cuts of 300 full-time jobs along with “a similar number” of temporary positions are part of a discussion between the former Ford Motor Co. subsidiary and its trade union. Aston Martin also said it’s considering other undisclosed cutbacks related to worldwide economic woes and plunging sales.
“These are regrettable but necessary measures in the extraordinary market conditions we all now face,” Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez said in a statement.

The cutbacks come as the automaker seeks to revive the Lagonda luxury brand to diversify its product mix beyond sports cars.

Julian Jenkins, CEO of Aston Martin North America, said sales fell 19 percent through the first three quarters of 2008, while the ultraluxury segment dropped 21 percent.

The Warwickshire, England-based company has 1,850 employees worldwide. The company said a 90-day consultation period had been launched with the union Unite, and that the jobs would go in the new year.

In May of last year, Ford sold Aston Martin to a group that included motorsports investors David Richards and John Sinders and two Kuwait-based investment companies. Ford took its initial stake in Aston Martin in 1987.

PRESS RELEASE: Aston Marton announces job cuts

Gaydon, 1 December 2008 – Aston Martin and its Trade Union partners have today begun consultation on a range of cutbacks to reflect the current downturn in the world economy and the corresponding fall in car sales. It is hoped to do this by minimising the impact on employees as far as possible, but the possibility of up to 300 permanent and a similar number of temporary job losses cannot be ruled out.

Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ulrich Bez said: “Like other premium car brands, Aston Martin has been forced to take action to respond to the unprecedented downturn in the global economy. These are regrettable but necessary measures in the extraordinary market conditions we all now face.

“Overall we remain confident that the Aston Martin brand is the strongest it has ever been – with dedicated design, engineering and manufacturing facilities and an award-winning product range, we remain well positioned for the upturn in the economy.”