It is closing dealerships in Newport, Mansfield, West Bridgeford and Accrington and turning three in Crewe, Oldham and Ilford in authorised repair workshops and used car centres. All seven sites are small showrooms which have a larger main dealership within the locality, so the geographic coverage is unaffected, according to Pendragon chief executive Trevor Finn.
“Commercial logic is to consolidate the bulk of activity into the one larger site,” said Finn. “From our point of view it gives us stronger representation in fewer points because we don’t spread the profits over a bigger cost base.”
Finn described the moves as “tidying up the portfolio” and said Pendragon’s programme of cost-cutting and consolidation by 26 dealerships, announced in May, is nearing the end.
Earlier this week The Times newspaper reported rumours that Pendragon may issue another profits warning this month. It reported that investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort has cut its share target price to 45p, almost a quarter below its current value.