Troubled car-seller Pendragon appoints new chief executive

Troubled car dealership firm Pendragon has appointed Bill Berman as its new chief executive, weeks after it warned over profits.

Mr Berman had been the firm’s interim executive chairman since October, when previous chief Mark Herbert was ejected after just three months in the role.

Last year, the group – which trades under the Evans Halshaw and Stratstone brands – cut around 300 jobs as part of plans to shut a raft of its Car Store showrooms.

Mr Berman said he plans to drive the company forward during a period of “rapid change” as consumer confidence remains weak.

The car-seller warned last month that losses would widen on the back of a slowdown in new vehicle sales and a crackdown on personal contract purchase (PCP) loans.

The new boss originally joined Pendragon as a non-executive director in April 2019.

The firm said he will continue to perform the role of chairman on an interim basis while the process to find a non-executive chairman continues.

Prior to joining the UK-listed retailer, Mr Berman served as president and chief operating officer of AutoNation, the largest motor retailer in America.

Mr Berman said: “In my relatively short time with the business, it is already clear to me that Pendragon is a company with great potential and a talented team.

“As chief executive, I look forward to building on strong relationships with our team members, customers, suppliers, our partners and investors as we move forward together in a period of rapid change and innovation in the automotive retail sector.”

Shares in the company nudged 0.8% higher to 12.57p in early trading on Wednesday.