Belfast Telegraph

Pendragon to reduce dealerships and sell US operation

The company said that following a strategic review of the business, it will “reduce” the number of its premium brand franchises over the next three years.

Car firm Pendragon is to shut dealerships in Britain and offload its US division following a profit warning in October and a slowdown in UK new vehicle sales.

The company said that following a strategic review of the business, it will “reduce” the number of its premium brand franchises over the next three years.

A total of 70 Pendragon dealerships house brands such as Aston Martin, BMW, Ferrari, Jaguar and Porsche.

Pendragon also announced that it will offload its US division, from which it expects to bank over £100 million.

“Given the strong performance of this division, we have concluded it is economically right to sell the business at this time to realise its value,” the firm said.

The decisions follow an October profit warning which sent Pendragon’s share price tumbling, with boss Trevor Finn pointing to a decline in demand for new cars amid falling consumer confidence.

He also said “certain manufacturers” were forcing vehicles into the market despite “softening demand”.

It also comes after dire November figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which showed that Britain’s new car market declined for a seventh consecutive month.

Pendragon will instead focus on the used car market, where it trades as Evans Halshaw with 118 dealerships and is aiming to double revenue by 2021.

Mr Finn added: “Following our strategic review, we have focused on reshaping the business to accelerate transformation and ensure capital allocation is optimised across the group.

“The actions I am announcing today are a further step towards achieving our strategic objectives.

“I believe this strategy will provide more reliable and sustainable returns.”

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