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Plans to cull more than 100 of Vauxhall’s 324 UK retail locations within the next 12 months threaten more than 3,800 motor retail jobs, according to media reports.
Dealers told Automotive Management (AM) magazine that sales, workshop and administrative staff will be made redundant as a result of the closures, part of an attempt by Vauxhall’s French owners, PSA Group, to cut almost £1bn (€1.1bn) of expenditure from the Opel and Vauxhall businesses by 2020, and £1.5bn (€1.7bn) by 2026, without resorting to factory closures.
“PSA Group has already implemented savage cuts in its manufacturing operations and it looks like that is set to continue in retail. A third of dealerships will go,” one operator of multiple Vauxhall car dealerships told AM.
Last October, PSA announced 400 job losses at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port manufacturing facility, followed by a call for a further 250 voluntary redundancies in January.
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A spokesman for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said: “As this hasn’t yet been confirmed by PSA – it would be inappropriate for the Government to comment on a commercial matter for the company.”
Falling demand for Vauxhall cars and an accompanying reduction in profits for the franchised dealership network have prompted PSA, which acquired the Opel and Vauxhall brands in a £1.9 billion deal last April, to make cuts to the retail network.
In a statement to AM, Vauxhall said: “The Opel/Vauxhall PACE! plan is improving the efficiency of the business in all areas. Within the plan, the go-to-market strategy is being carefully reviewed, including the contractual framework with dealers.”
Vauxhall said any reductions in its retail network would be “part of the normal business cycle”.
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