Vauxhall set to scale back dealerships as drivers spend more time researching cars online

A Vauxhall Corsa
A Vauxhall Corsa
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Vauxhall is to scale back its dealerships amid falling sales and changes in the way motorists buy cars.

The brand will issue letters to all its UK dealerships at the end of April giving two years’ notice that it is terminating their contracts.

It is deciding which of the dealers to offer new terms.

Vauxhall’s communications director Denis Chick said the car maker will change the remuneration process for dealers and introduce new standards to better reflect the changing market, as consumers do more research online.

He told the Press Association: ‘We will probably lose a few retailers,’ but denied reports that a third could be cut.

Vauxhall has the second largest number of dealerships in the UK after Ford, with 326, including Evans Halshaw in Portsmouth and Eden in Fareham.

Mr Chick insisted it would maintain this position after the franchising agreements are reformed, adding: “Nobody will lose their jobs.”

The process is also being carried out across Europe by Vauxhall’s sister company, Opel.

Sales of new Vauxhall cars fell by 18% year-on-year in the first three months of 2018.

The brand was taken over last year by France’s PSA Group, whose efficiency drive has led to doubts over the future of the Vauxhall plant in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.