Re­struc­tur­ing threat to 300 Vaux­hall car deal­er­ships

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Alan Tovey

THE axe could fall on as many as 300 Vaux­hall car deal­er­ships this week, threat­en­ing thou­sands of jobs. Groupe PSA, the car­maker’s French par­ent, is ex­pected to un­veil a re­struc­tur­ing aimed at rein­ing in costs.

In­dus­try sources said the move could be un­veiled as early as to­day. The com­pany plans to con­sol­i­date hun­dreds of fran­chised out­lets in re­sponse to fall­ing sales.

It may also con­sol­i­date mar­ques into sin­gle sites. The move is in re­sponse to a re­cent col­lapse in sales across the group’s big brands. Vaux­hall slumped 22pc, Citroen was off 18pc and Peu­geot fell 17pc, against a 5.7pc slip across the wider UK mar­ket. A spokesman for Vaux­hall de­clined to com­ment on spe- cifics, but added: “There are op­por­tu­ni­ties for re­tail­ers to change: the mar­ket is chang­ing, the way peo­ple buy cars is chang­ing and the re­tail net­work is chang­ing.”

As PSA does not own the deal­ers it can­not ac­tu­ally close them. Sources close to the com­pany sug­gest it may of­fer fran­chise hold­ers in­cen­tives to give up un­der-per­form­ing deal­er­ships.

A meet­ing be­tween PSA and deal­er­ship bosses is sched­uled for early May to de­tail fu­ture strat­egy.

The firm re­cently pledged to in­vest £100m in its Lu­ton fac­tory, where it makes Vaux­hall vans, a move that will cre­ate hun­dreds of new jobs. It wants to in­crease pro­duc­tion by more than 50pc to 100,000 ve­hi­cles a year.

PSA bought the UK car­maker from Gen­eral Mo­tors last year.

Car­los Tavares, CEO and chair­man of the manag­ing board of Groupe PSA, which bought Vaux­hall from Gen­eral Mo­tors

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