Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

Vauxhall closing auto dealerships following drop in sales

Vauxhall closing auto dealerships following drop in sales

Reports say the carmaker's move will put some 3,700 jobs at risk and comes just weeks after it insisted it had no plans to cut back on dealerships.

The MD of Vauxhall Motors, Stephen Norman, told reporters: "The requirements of the industry going forward and the requirements of the brands Opel and Vauxhall. would not require as many retail outlets as the brands now have".

The chief said that Vauxhall would continue to be Britain's second-largest dealer network after the restructuring.

The company, which employs more than 12,000 people in the United Kingdom, is ending the dealer contracts as it atempts to reorganise its network.

Mr Norman declined to say exactly how many sites he expected to be dropped among the 326 now operating.

The firm is to cancel contracts with the showrooms before striking new deals with only better performing branches.

Sales of new Vauxhall cars fell by 18 per cent year-on-year in the first three months of 2018.

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Brexit uncertainty has also been raised by the industry as undermining consumer confidence with people choosing to stick with their current auto rather than buy a new one.

Vauxhall's European sister company Opel is also shutting down dealerships as it tries to adapt to customers visiting auto dealers less.

People are more likely to to research cars online now and less likely to come in person to discuss the different models.

'The majority of retailers who are now with us will remain, ' Vauxhall managing director Stephen Norman said during a recent media conference call, refusing to elaborate on exactly how many will be retained.

Two years' notice will be given to dealers on 30 April, meaning that all contracts the company has with its dealership network will be ended by 30 April 2020.

No doubt Vauxhall will be keen to retain the profitable dealers and drop those whose performance is marginal, and they really don't need so many dealers to offer a proper service to customers.

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