The group, based at Eastbourne, said a softer car market meant second-half profits would fall short of the £2m banked for the six months to September 30.
Compared with rival dealers which sell cars in bulk to firms managing vehicle fleets, Caffyns deals predominantly with individual buyers.
Caffyns says: “There has been a reduction in demand in this market and this has been reflected in the company’s performance.”
Its troubles have been compounded by the disruption to sales from refurbishing a number of its dealerships, which are spread across Sussex, Kent, Hampshire and Surrey.
The group bought a Skoda dealership in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, in November and a Volkswagen dealership covering Brighton and Hove in June.