Two thousand jobs in the car industry are set to disappear as major cuts are announced by Aston Martin and Lookers.
Around 1,500 jobs are set to be axed and another 12 showrooms closed at struggling car dealership Lookers as the group announced plans to slash costs in the face of the coronavirus crisis and a tough car market.
Aston Martin said it plans to cut up to 500 jobs as part of a major restructuring at the luxury car manufacturer.
Lookers said it was launching redundancy consultations across all areas of the group, which are expected to see around 1,500 jobs go among its 8,100-strong workforce.
It comes as the Altrincham-based group revealed it will shut another 12 sites - either by closure, merging with other showrooms or refranchising - on top of the 15 dealerships being closed already under plans announced in November.
The closures will leave it with 136 dealerships across the UK
Lookers said the moves will cut costs by about £50 million a year.
It comes as the group has been hit hard by a difficult car market, which has been compounded by plunging sales amid the lockdown, as well as internal issues after it uncovered a potential fraud within the business in March.
Aston Martin said it will shortly launch consultations on its planned 500 job losses, which have been driven by lower-than-planned production volumes and improved productivity.
Aston Martin said its new strategy is intended to deliver £10 million in operating cost savings each year.
In a statement, the company said: "The measures announced today will right-size the organisational structure and bring the cost base into line with reduced sports car production levels, consistent with restoring profitability.
"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.
"The employee and trade union consultation process will be launched in the coming days."
British car sales edged up in May after falling to their lowest since 1946 in April, but still remained almost 90% below their level a year earlier as coronavirus restrictions limited sales.
Preliminary figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders on Thursday showed that around 20,000 new cars were registered last month, up from just 4,321 in April but just a fraction of the 183,724 sold in May 2019.
Car showrooms in England have only been able to reopen to potential buyers since Monday, though some vehicles were delivered direct to customers last month and in April.