Car dealer Pendragon to axe 1,800 jobs as demand slows
PENDRAGON is axing 1,800 staff as the car dealer braces for a drop in demand at physical stores.
The company – whose brands include Evans Halshaw and Stratstone – is to cut a quarter of its workforce to save cash following a review of how it operates.
Bosses will shut 15 mostly loss-making sites out of the firm’s 160 dealerships, with 400 jobs to go. A further 1,400 positions will be scrapped as it cuts back on other functions.
Car sellers suffered a huge blow when forced to shut up shop for weeks at the height of the pandemic, and customers have since proved tough to lure back as fears over job security mount.
Dealers are also increasingly embracing the internet for sales, rather than relying on their bricks-andmortar sites.
Rival dealer group Lookers last month said it was cutting 1,500 jobs, while major manufacturers have either already slashed employment or are braced to do so.
There was further bad news across the Channel, as two of Europe’s biggest car companies posted painful half-year results yesterday.
Volkswagen Group cut its dividend as coronavirus sent deliveries of the firm’s cars slumping by 27pc to 3.9m over the half-year, with revenues 23pc lower at €96bn (£87bn). It drove VW to a pre-tax loss of €2bn compared with a €5.5bn profit a year earlier.
Results were even worse at rival Renault, with the car maker posting a record €7.3bn loss in the first half – largely due to its partnership with Nissan, the loss-making Japanese manufacturer in which the French company holds a 43pc stake.
Renault said Nissan accounted for €4.8bn of the loss, mainly because of restructuring costs and impairments.
Earlier this week, Nissan warned it was likely to report its biggest-ever operating loss this year, diving 470bn yen (£3.3bn) into the red.