Pendragon to slash 1,800 jobs and shut 15 car dealerships

Car retailer Pendragon has said it will slash 1,800 jobs and shut 15 of its dealerships.

The Evans Halshaw and Stratstone owner said it expects around 400 redundancies as a result of closing its loss-making sites, with a further 1,400 job cuts coming as part of plans to make its operations “leaner and more sustainable”.

The cuts come as part of a review started by the firm before the coronavirus crisis hit, which further damaged demand for cars.

It said it will close seven freehold and eight leasehold dealerships – which together made a loss of £2 million last year – as they are “no longer expected to be viable”.

The closures and related redundancies are expected to cost the company £2.2 million, with associated impairment charges of around £5.5 million.

Pendragon said wider changes to its operating model – which will result in the bulk of the job cuts – are expected to reduce company costs by £35 million each year.

Bill Berman, chief executive officer of Pendragon, said: “These have been difficult decisions for the Board to make and our priority now is to manage the transition to our new operating model.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is a uniquely challenging situation and we want to protect as many jobs as we can sustainably and the proposed redundancies are, of course, extremely regrettable.

“The actions that we are undertaking are for the long-term health and success of the Group and ensure that we emerge from the pandemic as a more competitive and stronger business with the ability to thrive in the future.”

Last month, rival Lookers said it would cut 1,500 jobs and close 12 of its showrooms as part of efforts to slash costs.

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