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
Sam Sheehan
2 mins read
22 March 2018

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”.

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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.

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22 March 2018

Have to say the Vauxhall dealer network needs a wake up call.  Way to many big name franchises cover the brand and sell the cars at discounted prices and very few of them know anything about the cars.

The pile them high mentality has needed addressed for a long long time.  You can't be selling masses of cars but making a loss of over 2% per vehicle.  Seems PSA are prepared to do what GM didn't have the guts to do.  Shame folks will lose their jobs though, but if the profit margin doesn't move to positive Vauxhall/Opel will be no more

22 March 2018

...Everyone knew they were gonna run things down at Vauxhall same as they did with Talbot.

22 March 2018

Yes it's history repeating itself, PSA set up and scrapped the Talbot range in a decade and no doubt Vauxhall will go the same way in much less time. The last proper Vauxhall rolled off the production line nearly four decades ago and apart from a few rebadged Holden & Isuzu products,they been just rebadged Opel's, would anyone notice or care if the next generation of Vauxhall products  were just Peugeots with a Griffin badge on it?

22 March 2018

This sounds reasonable but Vauxhall and Opel are going to have to start battling for sales without all of the discounting tricks they used in the past.

22 March 2018

It's sad from an employment situation but running both Vauxhall and Opel was always pretty daft. Even more crazy if like me you can remember the Opel dealer situated next door to the Vauxhall dealer, both selling the same car.

They may have one of the best selling cars in the Uk (Corsa) but for many years, Vauxhall has suffered an image problem with people wishing to go 'upmarket'. Getting rid of Vauxhall and replacing it with Opel is a no brainer really - going back 40 odd years to the two garages again, despite selling the exact same cars, it was Opel who was thought of as being more special and commanded a small price premium.

Yes PSA killed off Talbot but for those who can remember the brand (and their Linwood factory) was that such a bad idea? It needed killing off.

22 March 2018

Does it come as any surprise that PSA want to make efficiencies? Vauxhall/Opel were losing money under GM; PSA didn't buy them so they could lose more money (although, they have initially). Streamline the organisation, improve the product.

22 March 2018

ALL car dealers are under threat and have been for sometime.


Online is where its at.

Yes, some big dealers will remain but they will be hubs serving a big catchment.

22 March 2018

I think it's time for PSA to stop sticking Griffin badges on Opels and just sell Opel in teh UK with higher profits but lower numbers than Vauxhalls used to be.

22 March 2018

perhaps remind yourself of that story, this isn't the same. 

23 March 2018

Vauxhall probably got a bit complacent in the UK because they were the default fleet cars along with Ford for so long. And a lot of British buyers seem to just go on buying what they always bought, year after year. That can't last though, and even the most conservaative buyers will eventually have their fancy caught by a better deal. The likes of Kia, with their seven year warranty, willl attract buyers like these who don't care that much about image. And Vauxhall dealers get such bad ratings in the surveys. Perhaps this is a good time to clear the weakest of them out and everyone will benefit in the long run. Will Vauxhall survive as a brand? It's a very strange anomaly in Europe, but maybe it doesn't cost much now that it is just down to a couple of plastic badges on the cars and some literature that would have been translated to English anyway. Vauxhall is just English for Opel I guess. It might not be worth the backlash to try to change it. I don't think PSA will kill off Opel entirely because they still sell a lot of cars. But more change will come, that's for sure. Managing self-competeing brands is always a challenge. 


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