The BMW Group-owned firm will resume work on its luxury vehicles with 1000 employees on site, initially working a single daily shift instead of the usual two-shift system. As with other plants that have reopened around the world, elaborate virus-protection measures will be put in place to protect production workers. The plant has been shut since mid-March.
Staff will wear masks and other protective clothing, with social distancing rules also put in place. Goodwood’s build rate is expected to be about 50% of normal, and although the company has said annual production for 2020 will be “a long way below” recent levels, it added that it is continuing to receive a healthy flow of orders, particularly from regions like China, where the virus is either declining or running at a low level.
The firm has made no predictions about a date for a full-scale resumption of production. That will depend on government advice and the company’s own experience over the next few weeks.
Notably, the 4 May date means production will resume on Rolls-Royce’s 117th ‘birthday’. It was on that date when car builder Henry Royce and dealer Charles Rolls first met. That led to a partnership between the two, with Rolls-Royce Limited then officially founded in March 1906.
Aston Martin is due to resume production at its St Athan plant on Tuesday 5 May, with Bentley starting up its Crewe factory on Monday 11 May. Jaguar Land Rover will also resume limited production at its Solihull and Wolverhampton plants on that date.