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Major UK car dealership to close 16 sites and cut hundreds of jobs in huge blow


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A MAJOR UK car dealership is closing 16 sites and cutting hundreds of jobs.

The huge blow to CarStore comes just months after it was taken over by US firm Lithia.


CarStore will see 16 of its sites closedCredit: CarStore

In a statement the company, who also manage Evans Halshaw and Stratstone, said the decision was made in order to focus on the other two branch giants.

The news has left nearly 300 employees with the harsh reality that they’re being made redundant.

While 16 stores are shutting up shop, four CarStore sites will be retained and refranchised.

Meanwhile seven CarStore pods will become Evans Halshaw Direct sites.

Lithia bosses said: “The company is preparing to cut roughly 250 roles across the UK.

“The vast majority of the losses will come from closing 16 CarStore sites, including seven warehouse-sized showrooms that were intended to help drive down the cost of selling second-hand models through economies of scale.”

It is understood customers will be contacted about the closures impacting them.

The three car suppliers were previously owned by Pendragon, who agreed to sell up to Lithia in September last year.

In a £250million deal, Pendragon handed over CarStore, Evans Halshaw and Stratstone.

Evans Halshaw holds dealerships for 10 brands, including Citroen, Dacia, DS, FordHyundaiKiaNissanPeugeotRenault and Vauxhall.

Stratstone handle Aston MartinBMW, BYD, Ferrari, Genesis, JaguarLand RoverMercedes-BenzMiniPorsche and Smart.

Pendragon also revealed that it agreed to a partnership to roll out its dealer management software arm, called Pinewood, to Lithia’s 50 UK sites and to enter the North American market.

The deal with Lithia, which has around 340 dealerships across North America, will help Pinewood’s software unlock the North American market and aim for global expansion, it said.

Shares in Pendragon surged by 25 per cent off the back of the deal, valuing the entire business at £322m at the time.

Pendragon had been approached by Swedish motor company Hedin Group in September 2022 with a possible takeover offer worth £400m, or 29p per share, but it did not result in a sale.

Andres Hedin, who owns the Hedin Group, still owned more than a quarter of Pendragon shares.

However, a month after the deal with Lithia, Hedin and US company PAG International confirmed they had walked away from being linked to the business.

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