Car dealerships Lookers and Aston Martin have both announced plans to cut hundreds of UK jobs in response to the Coronavirus.

As the government is lifting lockdown restrictions and car rooms are set to reopen, Lookers it will cut its workforce by almost 20%.

Mark Raban, Looker’s chief executive, said: “We have taken the decision to restructure the size of the group’s dealership estate to position the business for a sustainable future, which regrettably means redundancy consultation with a number of our colleagues.”

“This has been a very difficult decision and we will be supporting our people as much as possible throughout the process,” he added.

The car dealership will cut 1,500 jobs and close 12 dealerships. The group has 164 dealerships and hopes to save £50m annually from the redundancies.

Aston Martin has also announced to cut 500 jobs in an attempt to restore profits amid falling sales.

“As communicated previously, the plan requires a fundamental reset which includes a planned reduction in front-engined sports car production to rebalance supply to demand,” said the group.

“The company’s first SUV, DBX, remains on track for deliveries in the summer and has a strong order book. 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 said last week that the current Chief Executive, Andy Palmer, is to step down and will be replaced by Tobias Moers, who currently runs Mercedes-AMG.

The sector is under increasing pressure under Coronavirus. The number of new cars registered last month was down 89% compared to May 2019.

Shares in Lookers (LON: LOOK) are trading up over 5% at 24.50 (1204GMT).

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Safiya focuses on business and political stories for UK Investor Magazine. Her interests include international development, travel and politics.