Currently reading: A third of Vauxhall dealers at threat of closure under aggressive PSA plans
An unnamed source has said that more than 100 of the British brand’s 324 retailers could go

A third of Vauxhall dealerships in the UK could be closed as part of an aggressive efficiency-boosting strategy laid out by the brand's new parent company, the PSA Group.

An anonymous source has told Automotive Management that more than 100 of the company’s 324 UK retailers could go within a year, putting 3800 jobs at risk.

“PSA has already implemented savage cuts in its manufacturing operations and it looks like that's set to continue in retail,” the unnamed dealer said. “A third of dealerships will go.”

Vauxhall told Autocar that the claims are “pure speculation”. It said in a statement that “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 the dealers”.

Vauxhall Corsa GSi returns as driver-focused VXR replacement

The source said the dealer network was now running with high inefficiencies because it's set up to handle much higher volumes, with sales having peaked at 330,000 in 2007. In 2017, Vauxhall sold 195,137 vehicles.

“Last year, I think the network ended up at around 0.35% return-on-sales. You can't sustain that for long. Without the volume, there are just too many sites,” the source told AM. “Whether this is a crisis is a moot point, but either way, many Vauxhall dealers will already be saying ‘enough's enough’.”

Since acquiring Vauxhall and its German sister brand Opel late last year, PSA has been particularly vigorous in its attempts to cut costs from the UK-only brand.

Vauxhall recently offered 250 members of its Ellesmere Port staff voluntary redundancies in a bid to reduce costs and improve efficiency at the factory. This followed the first wave of cuts in October last year, with the total number of jobs Vauxhall plans to have removed from its Cheshire site by September 2018 amounting to 650.

PSA’s strategy aims to return Vauxhall and Opel to profit by 2020.

More content:

Peugeot confident of SUV and EV push after strong sales results

Range Rover Sport SVR 2018 review

Join the debate

Add a comment…
jagdavey 23 March 2018

End of the road for Vauxhall

Sadly the PSA takeover of GM Europe will eventaully lead to the death of Vauxhall.

The last time PSA took over a European arm of an American manufacturer, i.e. Chrysler, look what happened!!! Peugeot's last UK giant factory at ryton was closed down.

The French will always look after French manufacturing, & now they have the ideal excuse, Brexit, to shut down Ellesmere Port & Luton.

(And the same will happen to Nissan when Reanult shift all production back to France)

rhwilton 23 March 2018

The Vauxhall brand

One of the reasons why GM kept Vauxhall going so long is that Opel/Vauxhall was more successful in the UK than anywhere else, Germany included. Is anyone trying to say that the Peugeot is a strong brand outside France? Certainly, it used to be the best French car. Think of those films set in North Africa with 404's or 504's being thrashed round dirt roads. They are no longer the over/solidly-engineered cars that they used to be. And Opel, given that many people in the UK have a very vague idea of what happens outside it, has no brand recognition here.Comparisons with the demise of Talbot and Peugeot UK are indeed appropriate. I manage a worldwide organization. France is one of the hardest countries to lay people off. The UK is much easier. The protection afforded to employees and statutory redundancy payments are among the lowest in Europe. It's not all bad. This is a reason why unemployment is low here. There are a lot of jobs about, albeit without much security.

Dealerships: I don't think Vauxhall are any worse than other mass market cars. My wife bought a brand new Volkswagen recently and dealing with the salesman was unpleasant every step of the way. I bought a Jaguar online a couple of years ago, where I dealt with a salesman towards the end of the process, and that was a pleasure. You get what you pay for.

WallMeerkat 23 March 2018

rhwilton wrote:

rhwilton wrote:

 I bought a Jaguar online a couple of years ago, where I dealt with a salesman towards the end of the process, and that was a pleasure. You get what you pay for.

You made a lot of great points but I am going to have to disagree with this.

Last year I wanted a new/nearly new car, looked at a lot of options, quite fancied one of the last mk1 XFs or look at the finance deals on an XE. The Jag dealer was very ignorant and wanted to pretend I didn't exist. Perhaps because I wasn't wearing a suit or a retirement blazer? I thought from the X-type onwards they were instructed to expand their customer "clientele" type as per Merc, BMW etc. have?

However having went once years ago with a family member to pick up a Vectra VXR from servicing, and witnessed a full blown row they were having at the service desk with a taxi driver over warranty, I wouldn't shed many tears if certain Vauxhall dealers were shuttered.

Aperitif 23 March 2018

On Line


I bought a new model Volvo XC60 in September last year through a combination of email / telephone conversations and got the deal and specification I wanted. No hassles or hard sell.

Buying online takes the potentially fraught visit to ‘the dealership’ out of the equation and you just concentrate on the deal being offered not the sales pitch. It’s telling that had a Carwow quote ‘welched’ upon by a large national car dealership - the marque being Vauxhall. 

If you are looking for some sport with a car salesperson at these large national car dealerships, go in and ask for say a Vauxhall Astra with an optional sunroof or the Intellilux headlamps. They will look at you as if you were daft and try their level best to sell you a model they have in stock. The fast buck rules here not selling what the customer actually wants. 

Ordering on line is less stressful and you don’t have to deal with these duplicitous bone heads at the dealerships.