March 23, 2018 / 4:01 PM / 2 years ago

Peugeot's UK Vauxhall plans to cut showrooms by a third -dealership CEO

LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) - Peugeot’s British brand Vauxhall plans to cut its dealership network by roughly a third to around 200 outlets, the chief executive of a dealership group told Reuters on Friday.

Peugeot-maker PSA bought Opel and its British sister brand Vauxhall last year when it acquired General Motors’ loss-making European arm and has been pursuing a restructuring plan to return it to profitability.

Vauxhall’s new boss Stephen Norman is tasked with turning around sliding sales in what has traditionally been Opel-Vauxhall’s biggest market, where demand fell 22 percent in 2017, compared with an overall market decline of 5.7 percent.

The boss of a car dealership chain told Reuters, on condition of anonymity, that the network would be cut.

“The whole UK Vauxhall network is around 300 dealerships and that will be reduced to around 200,” the CEO said.

“They’ve told us it’s a plan. They’re driving it. It’s a good thing to do as it keeps the sales per outlet in a good place and maintains the viability of their network.”

The move will lead to job losses, the boss added.

A Vauxhall spokesman said: “No decisions have yet been made.” (Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Stephen Addison)

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